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Explained: Oil-Based vs Water-Based Lubes

We’re giving you the lowdown on lubes because choosing the right personal lubricant should never be an afterthought.

You might tend to think of lube as something you don’t usually need, until you really, really need it. And when that time comes, you end up reaching for the trusty all purpose jar of coconut oil in your drawer. While it may be convenient to go for what’s easy, it’s very important to know what personal lubricant is right for you and what it is made of.  That’s why we’re giving you a quick lowdown on the pros and cons of personal lubricants so you don’t have to worry about it in the heat of the moment.

What’s the difference between oil-based and water-based lubes?

The key differences lie in the ingredients used. The best water-based lubricants contain natural thickeners found in plants which give it a smooth texture. Oil-based lubricants may contain oils such as coconut, sunflower or sometimes synthetic oils which may be great for your skin, but aren’t ideal for your intimate areas.

Which one is kinder to my body?

Oil-based lubricants have the ability to trap bacteria making it easier for infections and reactions to come about. Water-based lubes are usually kinder to the body and skin because they’re made of natural ingredients and have fewer chemicals. Made with just 5 ingredients, Glide personal jelly is all natural and contains zero additives like fragrances, glycerin, silicone, parabens or petroleum. 

-10% off
₹ 1,998 from ₹ 1,790
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Glow Relaxing ₹ 1,790 Glow Arousing ₹ 2,050
₹ 999
-10% off
₹ 6,998 ₹ 6,250
-10% off
₹ 9,796 ₹ 8,800
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Amber Vanilla ₹ 8,800 Masala Chai ₹ 8,800 Jasmine Ylang ₹ 8,800 Bergamot Mahogany ₹ 8,800

How do they compare in feeling?

Personal lubricants that are oil based can be used for massages during foreplay. Their consistency makes them easier to spread so you can cover more surface area with them which can be a good thing for your body but not for your clothes and sheets. Water-based lubes won’t stain your sheets and will leave minimal residue on your skin. They also feel extremely natural as their texture resembles the consistency of what your body organically produces.

Which one goes better with a toy?

Both work well with toys but it’s the clean up where things get tricky. Oil based products are harder to wash off personal gadgets. Because the oil traps bacteria, you need to make sure you’re washing your toys carefully, or else they might breed bacteria leading to unwanted infections. The best water-based lubricants in the market are super easy to wash off, and don’t promote the growth of bacteria.

What else should I know before I make my choice?

The best personal lubricants are the ones that are free from nasty chemicals like glycerin and parabens. It’s also best to avoid any that contain petrochemicals as they can cause burning sensations after or during use. As a rule of thumb, go for something that is natural or plant-based like Glide to minimise any adverse reactions. Avoid any oil based products that are not designed to be used as lubricants like baby oil, coconut oil or vaseline. These can really mess up the pH balance for vulva owners.

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