The Best (And Worst) Lubricants For Sex In Menopause
Great Sex After 50: Part 3
Here's what you'll find in this video and blog post. I'm showing you how to use topical treatments to help with vaginal dryness during & after menopause...
- The first step is avoiding harsh, foaming, stripping soaps that disrupt the delicate pH and natural moisture and elasticity of the vaginal area that are so necessary for comfortable sex in menopause and beyond
- Then choose the best of these three types of lube/moisturizer to keep sex in menopause as fun and comfortable as ever. We’re looking at. the pros, cons, and what to look out for in each category.
- We’re also going to talk about topical hormones - how to choose and and WHEN they fit into your strategy for great sex during and after menopause
Just click to watch the video below for all the details or read the blog post for the highlights:
Watch the rest of the videos in this series
Great Sex After 50 Part 2: How to boost estrogen naturally with diet, lifestyle, and supplements before, during, and after (yes after) menopause - to save your sex life from menopause dryness
Great Sex After 50 Part 4: Guest expert Clinical Sexologist & Intimacy Coach Jane Steckbeck joins me to share her best tips, strategies, & tools. (coming soon)
Great Sex After 50 Part 5: Where did your libido go and how to get it back, a Tonic Herbalists perspective & tips (coming soon)
Links Mentioned in the Video
Category #1: Silicone-Based Lubricants
These are made from petroleum and are not friendly to your cells. I recommend avoiding this category.
Category 2: Water-Based Lubricants
Pros: Condom friendly, light and non-greasy. Can make excellent lubricants and moisturizers
Cons: Water based formulas require significant preservatives, and often the preservatives used are not friendly to the local area.
They often have ingredients added that disrupt the pH and microbiome of the area.
They often have high osmolality ingredients that pull moisture out of the surrounding cells creating long-term dryness and thinning and weakening of the tissues (the details are ALL in the video!)
Be sure to look for organic ingredients, as pesticides are estrogen disruptors.
Ingredients To Avoid In Water Based Lubricants:
Preservatives like parabens and phenoxyethanol
Moisture-sucking, highly processed ingredients like glycerine, propylene glycol, & carrageenan, and avoid all sugars.
Artificial fragrances or other chemicals including chlorhexidine
Ingredients To Look for In Water Based Lubricants:
Aloe vera and food-based preservatives like like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.
Check out this blog for the ingredients to avoid in water-based lubes during menopuase
Category #3: Oil-Based Moisturizers & Lubricants
Pros: Great slipperiness and long-term moisture.
Can easily be combined with pure essential oils that stimulate local estrogen receptors and the brain to increase natural lubrication
Cons: Not latex condom friendly.
Some oils are safe to use, some are not. There are many more details in the video but my favorites are organic virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, and cacao butter.
Be sure to look for organic ingredients, as pesticides are estrogen disruptors.
Over the counter hormone creams can be really helpful when just a moisturizer isn’t enough.
(Be sure to watch the next video in this series, my interview with guest expert Jane Steckbeck for details on how to use vaginal moisturizers most effectively before you give up on them.)
There are some new over-the-counter topical hormone creams on the market today like the Amata creams by Dr Christiane Northrup with a powerful plant phytoestrogen and the Julva cream by Dr Anna Cabeca with DHEA. I love both these doctors, and these are good options and work for some women, but I believe they also contain either glycerine or sugars, ingredients I don't love.
Prescription estrogen creams can be useful if you have advanced dryness with loss of elasticity (called atrophy.) These are effective for many women, but again are not a complete solution! You want to combine these with the best moisturizers, lubes, and the right diet, lifestyle, and supplements to improve your vaginal health and natural vaginal lubrication from the inside out at the same time.
Always start with the right diet, giving your body the building blocks of estrogen and natural lubrication. The free download below, the Menopausal Woman's Roadmap will get you started with this TODAY.
Then add in the right lifestyle to promote long-term moisture and elasticity. (See video 2 in this series for details.)
Then - after you have those internal factors working for you - add in the type of topical treatment that works best for you.
Avoid silicone-based lubes
Read the labels on all water-based lubes and look for aloe vera-based formulas that use only food-grade preservatives and don’t have added artificial fragrances, glycerine, or sugar (like the ones on mylola.com or Aloecadabra.com)
If you don’t need your lube to be condom friendly, or you’re just looking for a moisturizer, try and oil-based formula with virgin coconut, pure jojoba, or cocoa butter (or all three.) Look for formulas with appropriately diluted, pure essential oils (like the ones on livinglibations.com) and avoid formulas with added artificial fragrances or chemical preservatives.
If just lubes and moisturizers aren’t enough, consider topical hormones with plant based estrogens, DHEA, or for severe dryness, prescription creams with estrogen.
In this video blog I break down the 3 types of lube - find out which one is right for you during & after menopause (and why)
Make sure you didn't miss anything big...
1:12 what is the vaginal “ecosystem”
1:59 things to avoid disrupting the natural pH and microbiome of the vagina
3:28 the 3 different kinds of vaginal lubricants
3:56 the silicone based lubes
4:33 water and glycerin based lubricants and why you want to avoid
6:08 what is something called OSMOLALITY in Glycerin
Sometimes you'd rather read than watch - I get it!
This video is the third in a series I’m doing on having a GREAT SEX LIFE DURING & AFTER MENOPAUSE.
And today we’re talking about vaginal dryness and how to treat it topically.. So - the best lubes, moisturizers, and what you need to know about topical hormones.. And especially - what ingredients to AVOID to protect the delicate pH and healthy bacteria that need to be thriving on those delicate tissues to preserve your natural lubrication and elasticity. So stick around.
Hi, I’m DANA LAVOIE - an ACUPUNCTURIST & HERBALIST, and THE FOUNDER of MENOPAUSE BASICS. And I talk to women all the time who are suffering from vaginal dryness and the pain and discomfort that it can cause.
Now just so you know where I’m coming from - I’m kind of a purist...I believe it’s important to cultivate - not disrupt the natural ecosystem of the vaginal area .. But I also believe you have to do what’s needed to feel good & HAVE FUN in this life!
So let’s talk about this and make a plan!First of all, what do I mean by the “ecosystem” (sounds a little hoity toity or complicated - right? Well it just means the delicately balanced pH, and the microbiome of beneficial bacteria that help keep the cells plump and make sure your natural lubrication is being produced as much as possible.
So, how the heck do we do this?The FIRST big step that we sometimes forget about is to avoid messing up and disrupting the good stuff - that’s happening naturally in the first place- the pH and microbiome. It’s really IMPORTANT NOT TO DISRUPT this because if you do this naturally moist area will dry out fast.
For your external hygiene -you want to just turn it into love for this area to preserve its health.
So here’s what not to do:
Do not use harsh foaming stripping soaps or cleansers - instead use only the gentlest of non-soap and non stripping cleansers.
Avoid chemical laden chlorine bleached tampons or pads of any kind even toilet paper that’s been chlorine bleached, because chemicals go STRAIGHT up into bloodstream through this thinnest of tissues. And these products are often perfumed with synthetic fragrances - which have a really big disruptive impact on the hormones in the area because they often contain chemical xenoestrogens.
I also recommend washing your underwear in laundry detergent free of artificial fragrances and harsh chemicals.
I recommend you avoid douching - it’s supposed to make you feel fresh - but it actually destroys the very powerful self-cleaning process that’s already happening down there!! If you pollute the area w/chemicals you shut that down.
Alright, so that’s how not mess up when you’re getting clean.
Ok so now I want to talk about lube and moisturizer.
There are basically 3 different kinds of products - including all the lubricants and moisturizers, and here’s how to choose which one is right for you.
The FIRST type is - SILICONE BASED LUBES - I’ll tell you right now - I don’t like these. All synthetic lubricants contain chemicals that can irritate, dry, and inflame your delicate tissues.
So lube ingredients and types of lube in this category that you want to avoid will contain these ingredients:
First - Petroleum. Petroleum and silicone are totally man made and have no place in body care. There is not a single cell in our body that longs for petro-chemicals. Take a pass on the petroleum lubes.
Moving on. The SECOND category is - WATER-BASED LUBES.
Now there’s some great stuff in this category, and this category is condom safe so it’s very important to know how to use it properly, but there’s also a lot you want to to avoid. Here’s how it breaks down.
First - water based lubes need the most preservatives, so make sure to look for products that only contain food grade preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate or pure essential oils. I recommend avoiding most other preservatives - but be SURE to avoid anything with the word paraben in it - or phenoxyethanol.
Second - avoid artificial fragrances & flavorings - completely. These almost always contain the hormone disrupting chemical phthalates (it won’t be listed on the label - but it’s probably in there) Also avoid the chemicals chlorhexidine and propylene glycol.
Third - and here’s the tricky one… Avoid sugars including glycerine (also can be called glycerol.
Sugars disrupt the ph and microbiome encouraging the growth of the wrong organisms and can make your more susceptible to yeast and bacterial & viral infections like herpes, other STDs, yeast infections, HPV, and HIV.
Glycerine sounds really nice - and it does create a moist feel when you apply it - but it it does this by pulling moisture out of the surrounding cells! This is because it’s has what’s called high osmolality. The cells in the surrounding tissues actually shrivel up and look like raisins - you can see this happen under a microscope. The shriveled cells can then die and be exfoliated (sloughed off) leading to thinner, drier, less healthy tissue in the area overall. So short term moisture and long term dryness and damage to your tissues and a decrease in your natural lubrication. (the propylene glycol mentioned above also has very high osmolality.)
SO, when you want to use a water-based lubricant or moisturizer, here’s what to look for.
Look for something made of mostly aloe vera. This stuff is the perfect pH, its slippery, and it provides both short and long term moisture and restores the health of the tissues.
Now finding one with lots of aloe without any of the fragrances, glycerine, or preservatives listed above can be a challenge.. But I’ve found a couple of brands that work (and be sure to check out part 4 of this series where my guest expert talks more about the difference between lubes and moisturizers, the best frequency and technique for using those moisturizers, and more about ingredients to look for and avoid and some of her favorite brands and applicators.)
But you can start with AloeCadabra a favorites of my guest expert from the next video in this series, and another on the site mylola.com that has both lube and lubricated condoms using this nice friendly aloe-based lube.
The THIRD category of lubes & moisturizers are oil based. These have some of the best long-lasting slipperiness and the best short and long term moisture-giving properties. But again - there are some things you need to know and some things you need to watch out for.
#1) These oil based lubes are not condom safe. So don’t use them with condoms.
Some oils are great - some you want to avoid. My favorites are jojoba oil, virgin coconut oil, and raw cacao butter, which can be used alone or blended together.
And for extra benefit add very diluted very pure essential oilssea buckthorn berry or saw palmetto berry aid in cellular regenerationadd flowers, the sexual glands of plants and aromatic aphrodisiacs.
The oils are antifungal antibacterial and antiviral without disrupting the naturally occurring bacteria - and the high vibration smells ignite both local estrogen receptors and receptors in the brain to promote libido and your natural lubrication.
There are other oils you want to avoid - definitely check out the next video in this series where my guest expert gives even more information on nut oils and also on the one oil in your kitchen that you definitely do not want to use.
So to get started with oil-based lubes & moisturizers you can go grab some coconut oil out of your kitchn and get started - if you want to go beyond that and use essential oils.. Please be very careful they are of the highest quality and are properly diluted. There’s a woman named NADINE ARTEMIS who’s created a line of vaginal moisturizers and lubricants that are the ultimate expression of this combination of natural oils and pure essential oils balanced for the pH and ecosystem of the vaginal area you can find her Petal Passion Yoni Serum moisturizer and Love Lube and Love Butters at livinglibations.com (link in the comments below.)
So - that covers the three types of lubricants - petroleum based, water based, and oil based.
Now, let’s talk about topical hormones. There are two categories here - over-the-counter and prescription. Now remember some of the oil based lubes & moisturizers above contain pure essential oils that will stimulate the local estrogen receptors in a very natural and holistic way, but if you want to get more focused on this…
There are now creams you can purchase OTC that are meant to add hormones directly to the local tissue. One is the AMATA cream created by Dr. Christiane Northrup, which contains a powerful plant-based phytoestrogen, and the Julva cream created by Dr. Anna Cabeca, whic contains DHEA. These work for some women and may be worth trying if the more natural options, including using moisturizers correctly as explained by my guest expert in the next video are not enough for you, but I find these both glycerin or sugars that are not ingredients I love.
There are also prescription creams you can through your doctor that contain estrogen that are applied locally. if you have very advanced dryness and loss of elasticity (called atrophy) you might want to consider these topical estrogens - to get some relief… But I highly recommend following all these other recommendations for diet, lifestyle, and moisturizers, so that over time your body’s own lubrication can be reborn and start to work for you again. Because these creams are often very effective - but I always say - hormones alone (whether topical or taken internally) are not the whole answer. Not only will these creams likely contain some compromising ingredients, while you’re using them you also need to work from the inside out protecting and strengthening the natural ph, the natural lubrication, and ecosystem of the vaginal area. You really want to boost your internal hormonal balance and natural lubrication at the same time. The previous video in this series was how to use diet, lifestyle, and supplements to do this during and after (yes after) menopause. The first step is including ceratin important hormonal building blocks in your diet. This is the foundation of hormonal health, and you can get started with that right now by downloading my free guide -the menopausal woman’s roadmap. That’s exactly what it’s for, and it will be followed by an invitation from me to a free online class on the same topic to really get yu going on this at home.
I also want to mention here that it can take a little time for these solutions to start to work - and it’s not necessary to put your sex life on hold and wait for time to kick in - because embracing and enjoying your sexuality stimulates your brain in ways that absolutely enhance your natural lubrication - so don’t forget about sex without intercourse - OK?
Now if you’re just tuning in - this is the third video in a series I’m doing on having a great sex life after 50. To watch this whole video series with transcripts, downloads, extra notes, links and more - be sure to check it out on my blog - the link is in the comments below.
In the FIRST VIDEO we covered what vaginal dryness is - what its symptoms are - and how treat causes of vaginal dryness other than low estrogen.
In the SECOND VIDEO we covered how to boost your estrogen naturally during & after menopause with diet, lifestyle, and supplements, because low estrogen is the #1 cause of vaginal dryness.
In THIS VIDEO we talked all about what you can do externally to combat vaginal dryness - so the best and the worst lubes, moisturizers and topical hormones and the ingredients you most want to avoid using, so that you don’t disrupt your natural lubrication, or the delicate pH. or the balance of beneficial bacteria in your vaginal area… So how to take care of your most delicate tissues topically.
In the FOURTH VIDEO I have a super special treat - SEX EXPERT CLINICAL SEXOLOGIST JANE STECKBECK is joining us to share her vast experience - her best tips - and to answer your questions.
And the LAST VIDEO is on increasing libido- a topic close to my heart as a tonic herbalist.
So stay tuned - and be sure to download your FREE COPY of my MENOPAUSAL WOMAN ROADMAP right now - to get started on the most important first step of your journey to hormonal health - naturally. I’m DANA LAVOIE - ACUPUNCTURIST, HERBALIST, and FOUNDER of MENOPAUSE BASICS. Thank you so much for joining me today and spending your valuable time with me. It means a huge amount to me, and I’m always checking the comments below. And please be sure once you grab your free roadmap to share this video with a friend.See you on the next video! Goodbye for now. Thanks for watching.
Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist, Herbalist, & founder of Menopause Basics.
For 15 years I've been helping women use effective natural remedies to get relief from menopause symptoms and feel great afterwards. It's my passion!
My secret? Start with including the right foods in your diet. Get the building blocks your body needs to balance hormones and keep you healthy. Every other menopausal remedy works better with this foundation in place.
Here's what it takes: It's not a diet.. CLICK HERE to learn what to eat every day to supply your body with the building blocks it needs for healthy hormones & anti-aging in my FREE guide.