Moisturizer vs. lubricant— what is the difference? The two are often confused with one another, or there are people who often use a lubricant when they would gain increased sexual pleasure by utilizing a moisturizer.
The Differences Between Lubricant vs Moisturizer
Vaginal moisturizers are meant to be used on a daily basis, whereas lubricant is intended for one-time use, to be applied during exercises or intimate moments. Lubricant is great for use with pelvic floor stretches, strengthening exercises, sexual toys, and solo or partner play. However, a sexual moisturizer is better suited for those dealing with chronic vaginal dryness or itching, dyspareunia, hysterectomy recovery & post-hysterectomy lubrication, transgender surgery recovery & transgender therapy, or those needing long term moisture intervention.
Can lubricant be used as a moisturizer?
Sometimes. There are certain products that can be used as BOTH a moisturizer and lubricant. However, they need to be identified as such. For example, the Sliquid Naturals Satin product listed herein is a perfect dual-purpose lubricant and moisturizer!
Should I moisturize my pubic area?
If you have a clitoris, using a moisturizer can be beneficial as oftentimes this skin can become dry and adherent, causing it to be less mobile. Adding moisturizer helps to plump up those cells and promote elasticity!
What is the purpose of lubricant?
With any type of sexual activity (penetrative or not), it is important to minimize friction. The tissues of the vulva and vaginal canal are sensitive. It is important to ensure that things being inserted (fingers, toys, penis) will glide with ease to help you focus on the most enjoyable parts of sexual intimacy, and not have to distract from or worry about any pain.
REMEMBER: Just because you aren’t getting as wet as you would like on your own, doesn’t mean you aren’t aroused. All bodies vary! Your level of “wetness” does not equal the level of “turned on” you are.
What can I use instead of lubricant?
There are questions out there about cooking oil, coconut oil, spit, lotion… the list goes on. But the best thing to use for lubricant is… lubricant! The problem with “alternative” options is that spit, oils, etc. can introduce more bacteria to the vagina and evaporates quickly so you repeat, repeat, repeat, adding more bacteria each time. Oil is not recommended to be used with condoms or toys as it can cause failure or breakdown of the materials. It also stains sheets! Lotion has the same concerns and other additives can affect your natural pH balance. Overall, you will be more prone to infection after use, because it is difficult for the vagina to clean any of these out of the canal, it will hold bacteria in and lead to infection.
Wading through the sea of available moisturizers and identifying the right choice for your needs, can be confusing. Especially with lubricants
often mixed into your searches and sitting right next to one another on the shelves. Here are 4 of my favorite daily moisturizer products, tried and true to increase sexual appreciation.
Quick Tip: Be sure to take your time rubbing in moisturizer. This will help you to reap the benefits of mobilizing the soft tissue just beneath your skin at the same time! What I love about it:
What I love about it:
Soul Source sells one of my favorite moisturizers, and it’s made with your vulva in mind! VMagic Vulva Care & Intimate Skin Cream is a 100% organic intimate skin cream that moisturizes, soothes, and protects sensitive, and tender skin. Through its mix of oils, including melexylem (honey and propolis), beeswax, organic extra virgin olive, avocado and sea buckthorn; it helps to provide relief for chronic vaginal dryness and itching, redness, or even burning. VMagic is great for all kinds of people who struggle with vulvar skin concerns from hormone changes to vaginal dryness after pregnancy, menopause, those who have undergone a hysterectomy or bottom surgery or struggle with dyspareunia. Let’s talk about the birds and the bees’ honey!
What I love about it:
Enchanted Rose Organic Vaginal Balm is great because it serves so many purposes. I especially recommend this for those who have just delivered, because, due to its organic nature, it can also be used for breastfeeding relief! It is a feminine balm designed for use on all those sensitive skin areas and is completely safe for ingestion (by you or by your baby!). Enchanted Rose is created with all-natural products, and can be used by anyone who struggles with vulvar skin concerns from hormone changes to vaginal dryness after pregnancy, menopause, and those who have undergone a hysterectomy or bottom surgery, or struggle with dyspareunia.
03. Satin – by Sliquid Naturals (use code “ LAURA10 ” for 10% off)
What I love about it:
So, I know that I just got done telling you about the difference between lubricant and moisturizer. But Sliquid Naturals Satin has made a liar out of me. Satin is both, in one! It’s designed for use in two ways: for daily moisturizing purposes AND as needed for lubrication during sexual activities. Sliquid Satin has natural moisturizers, including Carrageenan, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, but is still paraben, DEA, and sulfate-free. It is also vegan friendly! Fingers crossed you liked my game of three truths and a lie! I hope I made up for it.
What I love about it:
Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer is a unique product in many ways. It comes in 8ct boxes of individual 1/4oz packets. Each packet contains a bioadhesive ingredient that attaches to dry cells and delivers continuous moisture for up to 3 days. This is a long-lasting vaginal moisturizer that helps to address dryness symptoms by working to actually replenish vaginal moisture. It’s FDA approved, fragrance and estrogen-free, and compatible with most condoms. This is a great product for those with chronic vaginal dryness and itchiness or anyone with long-lasting moisture concerns. Replens is bringing you that forever replenishment!
Working with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist for Sexual Health
Dr. Laura Meihofer specializes in all things pelvic floor. She has gained experience with a variety of cases through years of patient care, as well as during her education and research while earning her doctorate at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She offers inclusive patient care, treating all gender identities and conditions relating to the pelvic floor; and works to create a safe space to discuss and learn about common pelvic floor conditions. She ensures a professional but accessible experience for all her patients; challenging the status quo to diminish shame and instead create courage and vulnerability in topics that are typically considered taboo.
Dr. Laura is passionate about creating accessible resources, education, and products for individuals suffering from pelvic floor conditions, in order to help them work towards a better quality of life. If you feel that would benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy or think you are experiencing symptoms that may require diagnosis, you can book a FREE 20-minute consultation HERE.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about all things pelvic floor health, head over to Instagram! You can always reach out in the DM’s if you have any questions!
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DISCLOSURE: Hi there! – I truly hope you love any product I recommend, I always try them out personally or with my patients. At times, I use affiliate links. You do not pay more, a small percentage of the sale goes to the person who has influenced your purchase. This helps me to continue offering free content. Let me know your experience! All pricing is up to date at the time of posting.