The main ingredient of traditional lubricants are water and glycerin, a component of all natural fats. Some lubricants are based on mineral oils and silicone. However, these should be avoided when using latex condoms as they can degrade the condom’s material. There is also a range of “natural” lubricants, which are supposedly mild to skin, but not every alternative is sensitive or suitable for recommendation. No matter if solo sex or sex with your partner: Here’s what you need to know.
Do’s: These home remedies are good lubricant alternatives
Aloe Vera: The plant can provide extra moisture for skin, and is a great alternative to traditional lubricants. You may even have one of the decorative plants at home. In that case, simply cut open some leaves and press out the extract for direct application. Alternatively, you can purchase a ready-made gel at a local drug store. By the way, aloe vera is also a great option for treating cuts and burns and should probably belong in everyone’s home pharmacy.
Saliva: Sounds banal, but it’s the most natural lubricant there is. So, if penetration turns into a bit of a sticky affair and you’ve got nothing else to turn to, don’t worry: a little saliva can go a long way. But there’s one important prerequisite: the donor doesn’t have any inflammation in his/her mouth.
Vaginal moisture cream: If you’re suffering from a dry vagina in general, perhaps due to hormonal changes, stress or following an illness, you may already know about specialized moisturizing creams. What you may not know is that the same cream also makes for an excellent alternative to lubricant.
Intimate cream: As the name suggests, intimate creams have been specifically formulated for use on the genital area and thus are usually well tolerated. As such, they also make for an excellent alternative to lubricants.
Massage gel with lubricant: If massage is part of your foreplay, make sure the massage gel is formulated as dual use for lubrication. These products are now available at most drug stores. Importantly, avoid anything that has fat or high lipid contents on the list of ingredients.
Don’ts: Stay away from these lubricant alternatives
Coconut oil, olive oil or butter: Even if coconut oil is being celebrated as the new beauty miracle and supposedly has a calming effect on skin, when it comes to the mucous membrane in the intimate area things are a little different. Coconut oil contains fats, and if used in the vaginal or anal region, it can allow bacteria to flourish. The same is also true for baby oil and massage oil. Further, if you’re using condoms, oil-based lubricants can also weaken the latex.
Vaseline: This is one of the top choices for lubricant alternatives, simply because most people have a small tin of Vaseline at home. It’s also super cheap, which makes it even more attractive. However, Vaseline removes water from the skin. If applied to the mucous membrane, it can lead to infection.
Soaps, body lotion or shower gel: Most body care products contain perfume, alcohol or chemicals. Although these don’t affect the skin much because they are often quickly rinsed off, soaps, shower gels or body lotions should not be used as lubricants as they actively attack the vaginal flora.
Author: Friederike Hintze