Lubrication becomes a vital part of life for many humans, both men and women, during many periods of their lives. In the case of cancer, treatment and other chronic illness, severe skin dryness can be uncomfortable and affect every day life. For extreme genital dryness or discomfort during intimate times, using a lubrication provides a friction barrier that can help the skin rejuvenate, stretch and move where needed without the pain and discomfort the dryness has caused. There are many types of lubrication depending on your wants, likes and needs. Here you can get the low-down about the different types of lubrication and how they can help your severely dry skin!
Lubrication is something that can be life changing for many individuals dealing with varying levels of genital dryness. Throughout our lives, many circumstances will arise that will trigger the body to go through “dry” patches where nothing seems to soothe the ever-flaky, peeling, and tearing skin. There are many things that can cause these bouts of dryness and they range from illness and stress, to chronic illness and cancer.
With a cancer diagnosis comes the plans for treatment and medications that help you to fight off this life altering condition. It is those very treatments that bring on the dryness in a million different ways. Severe dryness is directly linked to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, along with many of the medications taken to help ease the symptoms and side effects of chemotherapy. If you are experiencing severe genital dryness, consider using a lubrication to help create a friction barrier on your most sensitive body parts.
What types of lubrication are there?
There are different types of lubrication that function and work best in different conditions. The main types of lubrication available are:
- Hybrid Mix
Water based lubrication is known as a “universal” lube and moisturizer. This type of lubrication creates a thin friction barrier across the skin. Water based lubrication is the safest to use with condoms and safe sex devices, as well as with any therapeutic sexual aides. Using a lubrication while having intimate time with condom use has actually be proven to help prevent breakage (ACS). Water-based lubrication can also be used daily as a moisturizer on tender, raw skin.
One of the best water-based lubrications to try is Reclaiming Intimacy’s Flourish lubricant. This natural lube is free of parabens and glycerin, is hypoallergenic, and is also Vegan. This lubricant contains special natural extracts and moisturizers like Carrageenan, seaweed and Nori algae which all work to reduce inflammation, irritated skin and increase skin pliability. A few drops of this Flourish lube provides a barrier layer to ease friction discomfort while rejuvenating the skin.
Silicone lubrication is thicker and silky like satin sheets against your skin. Silicone lubrication is available in a medical grade variety, as well as being hypoallergenic, which helps those who have very sensitive skin. Due to the thicker nature of the silicone lubrication, the friction barrier created by this lasts much longer, even in the presence of water. The only downside of silicone lubrication is that it is not made for use with any therapeutic sexual aide, except anything made of glass.
Reclaiming Intimacy’s Satin is a high-quality, free-from-extras, thick and long-lasting type of moisturizer for the skin. This lubricant is waterproof, which is perfect for those looking for a durable barrier against friction. Made from pharmaceutical grade silicones, a few drops will last hours, and easily cleans away with soap and water. Our Reclaiming Intimacy products are free from glycerin, parabens and most all ingredients known to cause irritated skin or infections. This thick lubrication also works as a great massage medium and is latex, rubber and plastic. With prolonged regular use, Satin can help your body to make more of its own moisture!
Oil-based lubrication is typically made from plant-based substances, and lasts for a very, very long time. The downside to oil-based lubes is that they do not work with condoms and increases the chances of the latex or materials breaking down during the act. Oil-based lubrications have also been shown to promote the growth of bacteria and help to spread infections from person to person, like bacterial vaginosis. These lubes can also ruin a great set of sheets, clothing, and makes for a challenging clean up.
Hybrid mixes of lubrication usually consist of two or more of these types mixed together. These are most often made up of a water-based lubrication with added silicone lubrication, although other varieties do exist. These hybrids offer a great barrier layer for friction protection and clean up much more easily than the oil-based counterparts. Hybrid lubrications should not be used with sexual therapeutic aides, as the silicone ingredients can damage the material and make-up of some of these devices.
Reclaiming Intimacy’s Lustrous is an intimate moisturizer made to help a women replenish her own moisture with daily use, not solely used for sexual or intimate adventures. This would be beneficial for those women suffering from complex vaginal and tissue dryness from medications, treatment, menopause, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and other medical conditions affecting body moisture. A blend of natural moisturizers like Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Carrageenan emulate the body’s own natural lubrication. As with our other Reclaiming Intimacy products, these are free from parabens, sulfates, glycerin, DEA and is made in the United States of America.
What is the best way for me to use lubrication?
Really, there is no real ‘right’ way to use it! Whether it is being used as a skin friction barrier, to help ease pain, to help rejuvenate tired and dry tissues, to provide some smooth sliding during self-discovery and masturbation, or during sexual intercourse- use it liberally and all over! Some women do not produce or make enough natural lubrication for sex, so utilize a lubrication during foreplay to help prepare for the act of intercourse. Other times women use these lubes to help moisten their dry vaginal and labial tissues. Men also use lubrication to help the dry skin that arises on their penises and anus area. The key is really not how to use lubrication, but which type works best for you and for your needs. Even if you use diaphragms, condoms or dental dams, there are lubes out there that can make your sore spots feel much better during these times!
What should I avoid when looking for quality lubrication?
When you begin your task of finding the right lubrication for you and your needs, it can be very overwhelming to find just the right kind. There are literally hundreds of types of lubrications on the market, at varying levels of quality. If you are struggling with sensitive skin and other skin issues related to cancer treatment and therapies, you will want to avoid additives and extras as much as you can. This means you will want to pay attention to the ingredient list, and watch out for these things:
- Propylene glycol
- Chlorhexidine gluconate
These elements can upset the fragile pH of the vagina and cause other issues such as irritation or inflammation. A healthy vagina has a pH that ranges from 3.5 to 4.5, respectively. Lubrications that most often have these ingredients in them are the ones that offer a special ‘function’ like tingling, warming, and flavor options.
And always remember that whichever lube you end up using, if you use condoms or other safe sex protection methods, be sure that your lube is safe-sex safe and will not increase your risk for material breakdowns and tears during the act of intimacy.
If you need help is choosing a lubrication that would be right for you and your situation, do not hesitate to contact our Reclaiming Intimacy Through HOPE team and they can assist you in your selection and educating you on your choices.