This post contains full ingredients lists for many popular lubricants on the U.S. market, mainly water-based lubricants that I tested for my Balanced Lube Safety Guide. It also lists some hybrid (water-based plus silicone) options. Finally, it has a few good silicone lubes; plus safe oil-based lubes (safe for your body, but not for condoms!).
To read the pros & cons of the 4 types of sex lube, click here. To see my full pH and osmolality charts for water-based lubes, click here. Or browse recaps of medical studies on lube osmolality here!
- 1 Water-Based Lubricants
- 2 Ingredients of Concern:
- 3 Hybrid Lubricants I’ve Tested
- 4 Silicone Lubricant Ingredients
- 5 Oil-Based Lubricant Ingredients
Ingredients of concern in the “Safest” and “Likely A-OK” categories will be ones that are not harmful in the included quantities, but that some users may want to avoid (reasons specified below):
- 🤷🏽 = Not harmful generally, but some folks with allergies/special sensitivities may want to avoid. See discussion in this section.
- 😶 = some dispute over safety; read below.
- Red text = Ingredients that cause problems (=hyperosmolality) in high concentrations: usually, that means when they’re in the lube’s top 3 or 4 ingredients.
- ❌ = Toxic ingredients like parabens.
Good Clean Love Almost Naked: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Agar, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, and Natural Flavor🤷🏽 [vanilla scent].
Good Clean Love BioNude: Purified Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Sodium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ceratonia Siliqua [carob] Gum, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride.
Aloe Cadabra: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitamin E Oil (Mixed Tocopherols)🤷🏽, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Food Grade Sodium Benzoate, Food Grade Potassium Sorbate, Organic Vanilla Planifolia Concentrate.
Sliquid H2O: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from Cotton), Cyamopsis (Guar Conditioners), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Good Vibrations Please Gel Lubricant: Water/Aqua, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Likely A-OK 👍
Good Clean Love Liquid: Purified Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hyaluronic Acid, Propanediol🤷🏽 [under 1%], Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Ah! Yes WB (Water-Based): Aqua (water), Linum usitatissimum (Flax) Extract🤷🏽, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder (Aloe vera), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum), Sodium chloride, Xanthan gum, Potassium sorbate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol😶.
Sliquid Sea: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from Cotton), Carrageenan, Seaweed Extracts, Cyamopsis (Guar Conditioners), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Sliquid Organics Natural: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Organic Agar Agar, Organic Guar Gum, Natural Tocopherols (Vitamin E)🤷🏽, Organic Hibiscus Extract, Organic Flax Extract🤷🏽, Organic Green Tea Extract🤷🏽, Organic Sunflower Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Ah! Yes VM (Vaginal Moisturizer): Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder (Aloe vera), Linum usitatissimum (Flax) Extract🤷🏽, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum), Xanthan gum, Sodium chloride, Potassium sorbate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol😶.
Good Clean Love Restore Gel (Vaginal Moisturizer for longer wear/menopause): Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor🤷🏽, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
Slightly High Osmolality; High pH for Vagina (but Not Rectum)
Trojan H2O Closer: Deionized water, glycerin, phenoxyethanol😶, hydroxyethyl-cellulose, sodium hyaluronate, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, hydroxyacetophenone, citric acid, caprylyl glycol❓[antimicrobial agent], sodium hydroxide, vitamin E🤷🏽. [Note: For having glycerinas the second ingredient, this one has a real low osmolality, just over 500 mOsm/kg; the percentage of water must be much higher than in the normal glycerin lube.]
Moderately High Osmolality: Too Concentrated 🟡
Sliquid Sassy: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from Cotton), Cyamopsis (Guar Conditioners), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid. [🚩Note that this has the same ingredients as Sliquid H2O, yet Sassy’s osmolality is over 5 times higher than H2O’s. That’s gotta be a LOT more plant cellulose & guar conditioners in Sassy, proportionally.]
Not So Safe: Very High Osmolality 🚨
First 5 are in order of osmolality (best to worst), but all lubes in this section are over the 1,200 mOsm/kg safe max. guideline set by World Health Organization. From 1,200 to 2,500 mOsm/kg:
KY Jelly Classic: Water, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzoic Acid, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide.
Wicked Simply Aqua: Water, Propanediol (corn), Cellulose gum (cotton seed), Hydroxyethylcellulose (tree bark), Disodium EDTA, Olea Europaea (olive) leaf extract, Stevia Rebaudiana (stevia) Leaf/Stem Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Durex Massage & Play, 2 in 1 with ALOE: Water, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzoic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Hydroxide.
LubeLife Water-Based Lubricant: Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Shibari Ultrasmooth Lubricant Water-Based Formula: Water, Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Sutil Luxe: Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Hyaluronic acid, Lotus root, Beta glucan (oat), Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate.
Walgreens Lubricating Jelly: Deionized Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid.
WaterSlide by Earthly Body (has a really high pH for vaginal use): Water (aqua), Propanediol, Carrageenan, Citric Acid.
Liquid Silk “Luxury Non-Tacky Water Basd Sensual Lubricant”: Highly Purified Water, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone Cellulose Polymer, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol🤷🏽, Glyceryl Stearate NSE, B.N.P.D., Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben❌, Butyl Paraben❌, Ethyl Paraben❌, Propyl Paraben BHT❌.
Lubes over 2,500 mOsm/kg, in no particular order:
Equate Personal Lubricant Liquid (by Walmart): Purified water, propanediol, hydroxyethylcellulose, hydroxyacetophenone, lactic acid.
We-Vibe Lube by Pjur: Aqua (water), glycerin, xanthan gum, benzyl alcohol😶, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, citric acid.
Durex Massage & Play, 2 in 1 with Ylang-Ylang: Water, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol😶, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Flavors.
Intimate Earth Hydra: Purified Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf
Jo Agape: Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Jo Gelato flavored water-based lubricants: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Flavor (Aroma), Sucralose, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid.
Mojo Performance Water-Based Glide with Peruvian Ginseng: Water, Propanediol, Plant Cellulose, Lepidium Meyenii (Peruvian Ginseng) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Stem/Leaf/Flower Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Lola Personal Lubricant: Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Pjur Med Repair Glide: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Alcohol😶, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Simply Aqua Jelle by Wicked: Ingredients: Water, Propanediol (corn), Hydroxyethylcellulose (tree bark), Cellulose gum (cotton seed), Disodium EDTA, Aloe Barbadensis (aloe vera) Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (olive) leaf extract, Stevia Rebaudiana (stevia) Leaf/Stem Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Simply Hybrid by Wicked: Water, Propanediol (corn), Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Olea Europaea (olive) leaf extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose (cotton seed), Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Simply Hybrid Jelle by Wicked: Water, Propanediol (corn), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cellulose Gum (cotton seed), Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone, Trideceth-6, PEG/PPG18/18 Dimethicone, Olea Europa (olive leaf) Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Shibari Aloe: Purified Water, Glycerin, Sodium Carboxymethyl, Cellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Aloe Vera, Citric Acid.
Swiss Navy Water Based: Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Acesulfame Potassium, Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid.
Toy Wonder by Cake: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tetrasodium EDTA.
Intimate Earth Defense: **These are the current ingredients on the bottle , they are different than the ones listed on Intimate Earth’s site: Purified Water, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Psidium Guajava (Guava Bark) Extract 😶, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemon Grass) Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil 😶. —See “Guava bark” and “Tea tree oil” in the Ingredients of Concern, below.
Avoid Like the Plague
Astroglide Gel: Purified Water, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorhexidine Digluconate❌, Methylparaben❌, Gluconolactone, Sodium Hydroxide.
Astroglide Water-Based Liquid: Purified Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 15❌.
Astroglide Glycerin & Paraben Free Liquid: Purified Water, Butylene Glycol😶, Xylitol, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 15❌.
Aqua Lube by Planned Parenthood: Water, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, citric acid, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, vanillin, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, methylparaben❌.
ID Glide: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, EDTA, Carbomer, PEG-90M, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Methylparaben❌, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Gun Oil H2O: Purified Water, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethlcellulose, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera), Potassium Sorbate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Panax Ginseng Root, Paulina Cupana (Guarana), Avena Sativa (Oat Extract), Polysorbate 20, PEG-45, Polyquarternium-5❌, Citric Acid.
Jo H2O: Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Cellulose Gum, Methylparaben❌, Propylparaben❌.
Wicked Aqua Sensitive: Water, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Cellulose Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tetrasodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea❌, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Other: The Confusing “Water-Based”
This is a heading for PEO-based lubricants! I recommend BD’s Cum Lube first, for these reasons. None of these lubricants are suitable for vaginal use, as the pH for all is close to neutral: not acidic enough like the vagina should be.
Slippery Stuff: Deionized water, polyoxyethylene, sodium carbomer, phenoxyethanol🤷🏽, ethylhexyglycerin.
Bad Dragon Cum Lube: Water, Polyethylene oxide, Titanium Dioxide🤷🏽, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Adic.
Bad Dragon Clear Cum Lube: Water, Polyethylene oxide, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Adic.
X-Lube: Polyethylene oxide (in powder form).
J-Lube: 75% Powdered Sucrose + 24.25% Polyethylene oxide + 0.75% Fumed Silica.
K-Lube: Polyethylene oxide + undisclosed preservative.
J-Jelly veterinary lube: Contains propyl and methy parahydroxy benzoate as preservatives.
Ingredients of Concern:
Some of these are more problematic than others. Ones that are really bad marked with a big 🛑 red stop sign. Anyone with a specific food allergy should do more research on individual ingredients in their lubes, too. Any thickener, including plant cellulose, will make a lubricant hyperosmolal in high enough concentrations. Here’s a “possibly problematic” to “really not good” lubricant ingredient breakdown:
Benzyl alcohol. Known to be an allergen for some individuals, benzyl alcohol is seen as more potentially irritating when it’s ingested (taken into the body, not just rubbed externally on the skin). It’s used as a preservative.
Butylene glycol. It’s an alcohol derived from petroleum. 1,3-butanediol (like 1,3 propanediol) raises osmolality significantly.
🛑Chlorhexidine. A bacteria-killing component that used to exist in KY Jelly, but no longer does: Good thing, because Dezzutti et al. suspect it was responsible for destroying 3 strains of healthy, protective vaginal bacteria (“Is Wetter Better?”, 2013). But it’s still in Astroglide Gel!!!
🛑Diazolidinyl urea. Also antibacterial, which is not optimal because it has the potential to disrupt the protective natural bacteria in your vag or butt. It’s classed as an “irritant” and works by releasing formaldehyde.
Disodium EDTA. See EDTA.
EDTA is formed by chemically bonding formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and ethylenediamine. This “chelating agent” is a salt that stabilizes the formula and neutralizes trace metals (possibly found in water), as well as binds calcium.
Ethylhexyglycerin. It’s a plant glycerin (see Glycerin, below) that makes phenoxyethanol a more effective preservative.
Flax extract. Flax is one of the most potent phytoestrogens, molecules made by plants that bind to human estrogen receptors. Consuming large amounts of phytoestrogens (like you’d get from taking flax seed extract, more than from eating ground flax seeds in yogurt or whatever) can reduce the body’s own estradiol production. So, flax, chia, and other strong plant estrogens may help relieve symptoms during menopause, when the body turns off its own hormonal production. Avoid large quantities of flax if you’re a premenopausal person who’s not wanting to have their hormone production tweaked, like you’re wanting to conceive or you just enjoy being horny.
Glycerin, a.k.a. glycerine, glycerol, or 1,2,3-propanetriol. Glycerin, an alcohol, is one of the two most popular humectants in lube, along with propylene glycol. A humectant creates a feeling of moisture by pulling water out of: your outer cell layers (your skin, if in a cosmetic or body lotion) or your vaginal or anal epithelium (protective cell wall barrier). This ingredient is hyperosmolal by nature, and can only be used safely in small concentrations. Avoid glycerin in the first three ingredients of a lubricant for sure! “Plant derived glycerin” is no exception; it’s still glycerin. Glycerin may break down into glucose (sugar), which is why it’s especially bad for people prone to yeast infection: yeast feeds on sugar.
Glyceryl stearate. This is glycerin + stearic acid. An emulsifier, to keep Simply Hybrid’s silicone & water-based components bound together;
Green tea extract. This is certainly a low-level risk, as green tea extract correlates with a number of health benefits. Like flax, it’s a potent phytoestrogen as well, which explains why, in cultures where green tea is widely drunk, breast cancer rates are lower: the green tea will reduce endogenous (the human body’s own) estrogen production. The effect extends across genders, as green tea consumption also correlates with reduced risk of prostate cancer. But those anti-estrogenic properties are a negative for certain people who do not want their natural estradiol (estrogen) levels messed with: anyone with a uterus who’s trying to conceive would want to avoid green tea extract supplementation, for example. And anecdotally, because green tea extract’s a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial properties, I took it for a month recently to try to improve my viral resistance, and my sex drive took a nose-dive after several weeks on it.
Guava bark (psidium guavaja) extract. Used solely in Intimate Earth’s “Defense” lube, this is a natural antimicrobial (kills bacteria & fungus, potentially viruses as well). Antimicrobial can either be good (if you need an antiseptic, like if you have a new open skin wound) or bad (if you have a sensitive microbiome, like the vagina, that is not out of whack). Guava bark has shown “inhibitory activity” against gram-positive bacteria. That’s not good if you have a healthy vaginal microbiome already, since you do NOT want to kill the Lactobacillus bacteria that ward off yeast and other, pathogenic bacteria.
Hyaluronic acid / hyaluronate / sodium hyaluronate. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant, like glycerin & propylene glycol are, so if too much HA is in a lube, the solution will be hyperosmolal; drawing moisture out of your cells and leaving them more vulnerable. The % of HA matters; it can be safe in lower quantities, and even can help the vagina repair small cuts, improve vaginal response to invading microbes, and more. HA is naturally found in skin tissues, especially the dermis, as well as human joints. The HA used in cosmetics & lubes is synthetic and will penetrate the skin less or more depending on the specific HA formulation’s molecule sizes. This easy-to-read article is thoroughly researched and points to the fact that hyaluronic acid skin creams may irritate or dry the skin, depending. Good Clean Love supports its use of low- and medium-molecular-weight HA with reasons in this article, including a study showing vaginal HA application was as beneficial as synthetic estrogen in relieving dryness for postmenopausal patients.
Isopropyl palmitate. Derived from isopropyl alcohol + palmitic acid. Thickens and smooths; used an an emollient in several hybrid lubricants (to give a conditioning, smooth feel).
Methylparaben. See Parabens.
Nonoxynol-9: A spermicide employed in lubricants for almost 50 years until researchers realized that frequent nonoxynol-9 users were twice as likely to acquire HIV.1 Apparently the original in vitro tests did not demonstrate the cellular toxicity that nonoxynol-9 provokes in living tissues.
🛑Parabens, usually methylparaben. Parabens are often viewed as low-level “endocrine [hormone] disruptors,” and they’re now popularly associated with increased cancer risk, especially breast cancer. Parabens are preservatives. See here one study linking “physiological” levels (the amount normally found in personal-care products) of methylparaben to increased breast-call tumor size and to “chemo[therapy]resistance.”
Oat beta-glucan. For the gluten-sensitive, maybe avoid this ingredient, found in a couple “natural” lubes by Sutil. Point drawn from Dangerous Lilly’s statement on this ingredient.
PEG-any number. See Polyethylene glycol (PEG).
Phenoxyethanol. A preservative that’s also on shaky ground. Japan and the European Union limit it to 1% of the total makeup (ha) of cosmetic products. It’s often seen as more damaging when ingested, like via the lips. Ah Yes! has defended its use of phenoxyethanol as a preservative: first saying that the substance is natural—but wait, the kind they use is chemically created; and then stating, “Phenoxyethanol is not a mucous membrane irritant” and “Phenoxyethanol also has no estrogen-mimicking properties unlike methyl paraben (found in breast tumors),” before embarking on a long discourse about regulatory standards and concluding, “We use Phenoxyethanol at the lowest possible concentration to provide sufficient shelf life and to ensure we meet European and Global standards for shelf life and consumer protection.” I’d agree with their point that all substances are toxic in high enough concentrations, when they might be totally safe at low levels.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG). Yet another stabilizer; a polymer derived from petroleum. Not chemically related to propylene glycol, their names just look similar. PEG is used to create a film/feeling of wetness in eye drops, too. It can create very high osmotic pressure.
Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate. A union of stearic acid & di-glycerin.
Polyoxyethylene / polyethylene oxide. Related to Polyethylene glycol (PEG). This is the sticky-sticky ingredient that gives a thick, long-lasting effect to Slippery Stuff; powdered lubricants where you add water, like X-Lube and K-Lube, popular choices for anal; and Bad Dragon’s Cum Lubes. Personally I think the ultra-stickiness on my hands after I try to wash this stuff off is not a good indicator that my vagina would be able to remove it without issue. However, Dezzutti et al. didn’t see any cytotoxic effects from Slippery Stuff in vitro, on either colon or cervicovaginal cells. With X-Lube and powdered “mix it yourself” lubes, unfortunately, the amount of powder needs to be controlled very precisely: Using the 2 caps direction on the side of the X-Lube bottle (even when a lot of the powder became clumpy and didn’t get mixed in!) creates a hyperosmolal solution, about 2,300 mOsm/kg, way higher than the ideal “under 380” or even the 1,200 max. advised limit by the World Health Organization.
🛑Polyquaternium-15. Yikes, yikes, and YIKES. Several kinds of Astroglide still carry [in 2022] this preservative, when way back in 2011, Begay et al., “Identification of personal lubricants that…enhance HIV type 1 replication,” found Astroglide lubes with polyquaternium-15 increase the replication of HIV virions. Indeed, they cite 4 other medical sources who indicate this type of ingredient “can aid viral infection processes in vitro by increasing viral attachment.” WTF, Astroglide.
Propylene glycol (PG). 1,2-propanediol is a humectant that prevents lube from drying up. It’s also a “penetration enhancer,” and not in the way you’re thinking. It’s sometimes used as a vehicle (carrier) for topical drug delivery, in that it works to break through skin (and thus, introduce whatever active agent the PG is carrying more easily). That’s unfortunate for vaginal & anal use, where generally we don’t want those protective epithelial barriers altered. Some sources accuse PG of being an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen, but it’s classified as nonhazardous by the US CDC.
Propanediol. 1,3-propanediol is structurally very similar to propylene glycol (1,2propanediol), as you can see by their chemical names. It’s also a hyperosmolal ingredient that serves to thicken lube and keep the water from drying up.
Sodium hyaluronate. See Hyaluronic acid. Sodium hyaluronate is sodium bonded to hyaluronic acid.
Stearyl alcohol. A fatty alcohol that’s an emulsifier; it serves to thicken & keep disparate ingredients together. The thickening part will likely lead to higher osmolality, of course, depending on the percentage of stearyl alcohol included in any lubricant.
Tea tree oil. Used in some toy cleaners (like Sliquid Shine), which is fine if you wash the cleaner off the toy with soap and water. But, tea tree oil also appears in Intimate Earth’s Defense lube. Tea tree oil is a broad antimicrobial, meaning it can inactivate yeast/fungus, bacteria, and viruses. Some will use it for yeast infection or BV treatment; but do NOT go overboard, as too much concentration on sensitive tissues is also damaging. Also, using tea tree oil lubricant for yeast infection can lower levels of healthy Lactobacillus bacteria, just like boric acid does; you’re wiping everything out. That’s versus a yeast-specific treatment, which only kills yeast, not bacteria. I do not recommend using any lubricant with tea tree oil inside a healthy vagina.
Tetrasodium EDTA. See EDTA.
Titanium Dioxide. The scientific jury is out, but some studies (not others) have shown titanium dioxide, ingested orally, to be “associated with inflammation and tumor development” and alter the gut microbiota, in animal models. The European Commission has banned TiO2 as a food additive in 2022.
Vitamin E / tocopherol. Not irritating for most people, but vitamin E or tocopherol is an oily substance. That improves slickness: But two issues. (1) If you’re acne-prone like me, vitamin E may cause more blemishes. I’ve noticed that I got a few whiteheads on my lower butt cheeks once when much Uberlube was employed during the sex I’d had, for example. (2) Some tocopherols are drawn from wheat germ,2 and so anyone who’s gluten intolerant might choose to avoid them.
Hybrid Lubricants I’ve Tested
This is far from an exhaustive list of hybrids, which tend to be a water based lube with less than 10% silicone added.
Good Clean Love Hybrid: Purified Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hyaluronic Acid, Dimethicone, Lactic Acid, Propanediol🤷🏽 [under 1%], Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glycerin🤷🏽 [under 1%], Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Sliquid Silk: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose, Isopropyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Emollient Ester, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.
Sensuva Hybrid: Water, hydroxyethyl cellulose, dimethicone, propanediol, isopropyl palmitate, sorbitan monostearate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, polyacrylate 13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, sodium citrate.
Jo Classic Hybrid: Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Cellulose Gum, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Polyacrylate Trideceth-6, PEG/PPG- 18/18, Dimethicone.
Good Vibrations Please Cream Lubricant: Water/Aqua, Sorbitol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol🤷🏽, Ceteareth 20, Polysorbate-20, Cellulose Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA.
Silicone Lubricant Ingredients
Silicone lubricants really only need 2 ingredients, but may have up to five.
Wicked Ultra: Dimethicone, dimethiconol.
🚩Note: Do not buy Ultra Heat or Chill unless you enjoy pain with your pleasure.
Uberlube: Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Cyclomethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)🤷🏽.
Sliquid Silver: Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Cyclopentasiloxane.
Oil-Based Lubricant Ingredients
Coconu oil-based: Sunflower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Kukui Seed Oil, Hippophae rhamnoides / Sea Buckthorn Oil, Tocopherol (Non-GMO).
Ah! Yes OB (oil-based): Sunflower seed oil, Shea butter, Sweet almond oil, Bees wax, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
Boy Butter is kind of an oil, but with water-based preservatives like glycerin, and also some silicone: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetables Oils, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenyl Trimethicone.
- See in particular Happel, Anna-Ursula, et al., “Considerations for Choosing Soluble Immune Markers to Determine Safety of Novel Vaginal Products,” in Gynecology, a section of Frontiers in Reproductive Health (May 2022), section “The Cautionary Tale of Nonoxynol-9.”
- See Dangerous Lilly’s quote on Sliquid Organics Natural tocopherol sources, “extracted from wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils.”
5 thoughts on “Personal Lubricant Ingredients Lists: Be Aware”
What about these?
They are the ones I like the best
Hi! With the Maude lube, they offer two statements that raise one of the red flags I’ve found to be common in lube marketing: stating “pH balanced” without giving a specific pH value; and they also say, “manufactured to the ideal osmolality” without stating what the osmolality is.
Propanediol is the second ingredient in that lube, so it’s unlikely to be within the ideal iso-osmotic range.
They also throw in a bunch of random plant stuffs (mushroom, quinoa, linseed, oat kernel) like Intimate Earth does with their propanediol-based lubes, and those don’t score well.See my statement on how the vagina hasn’t evolved to absorb plants in the red flags section too.
So, I’d definitely test it if someone wants to send me a bottle, but I think it’d be in the >1,200 mOsm/kg category.
With the Butters, I think the ingredients are very solid for anal use. I’m cautious about oil-based lubes for vaginal use personally these days. The Butters’ downsides are that you do need a clean spoon to scoop it out each time you use it, it melts if it’s shipped in the mail during the summer, and the creator, Jerome, was revealed to be a raging misogynist after some pretty awful posts he made came out last year .
Thank you thank you thank you for this ! I brought up Osmolality and why we don’t talk about it a while back in a industry group and got shut down on that it was not very important! Love this!
Thanks for updating this list for the modern era! I’m just wondering why slippery stuff is in the confusing category. It’s my lube of choice, but I’d consider switching back to sliquid if it’s something concerning.
Hi! OK, so the confusion is over whether very hypo-osmolal lubes can also be problematic. (I’d say it’s definitely less of a concern than high osmolality, though.) We don’t have enough studies on really-low osmolality lubes. Edwards & Panay, 2016, did seem concerned in that they classified lubes under 32 mOsm/kg in the same category as hyperosmolal ones; their assessment is based on a slug mucosal model testing study, Adriaens and Remon, 2008, where a lube with 32 mOsm/kg osmolality caused “negative mucus production.” Find those sources here.