The issue is, while the once-in-a-while use of a chemical-filled hair conditioner or mascara might not seem like a huge deal, lubricants are literally going, well, inside of you. And most conventional brands are filled with parabens, propylene glycol, and other toxic ingredients linked to long-term health risks.
Plus, you’re putting lubricants on an “area” that gets irritated easily. “You’d never wash your cashmere sweater with your jeans,” says Anastasia Strgar, of natural lubricant brand Good Clean Love. “Why would you put straight chemicals on the most sensitive tissue on your body?” she asks.
One solution to this bedroom dilemma? Aloe.
A handful of brands have discovered yet another use for the miracle plant already used as skin-care supplement, sunburn cure, and more, making cleaner lubes with aloe as the base and skipping potentially harmful additives.
When we road-tested them (in the name of journalism!), we found that aloe-based lubes tend to be thicker and more viscous than traditional varieties, but they’re just as effective, so you won’t have to compromise when it comes to creativity (or endurance) between the sheets.
Click away to see three to stock in your nightstand drawer, just in case. —Lisa Elaine Held
According to Strgar, Good Clean Love aims to “mirror the fluid naturally produced by the vagina” with a formula made from natural ingredients like aloe leaf juice, xanthan gum, and agar agar—with a touch of “lemon and vanilla” for a basically undetectable scent. $12, www.amazon.com
True to its name, Aloe Cadabra (get it?) is a magical mixture made with 95 percent aloe vera, vitamin E, and citric acid as a preservative. If you’re looking to spice things up, it comes in varieties like Tahitian Vanilla and French Lavender that contain organic essential oils. $7, www.amazon.com
Sex-positive shop Babeland makes this natural version of its popular BabeLube with aloe, vitamin E, hibiscus, flax, alfalfa, green tea, and sunflower seed extract. We love that the ingredient list reads like a facial serum (or a smoothie). And despite the longer list of botanicals, it’s virtually fragrance-free. $12, www.babeland.com