Whenever I meet someone who doesn't know what silicone-based lubricant is, I get excited.
"It's that magic never-ending lube" I say, as I pull a bottle out of my bag and proceed to make them hold out their hand for a sample.
If they haven't run away yet, I start to tell them about silicone lube's benefits, weaknesses, how it's made, and my favorite brands.
Long-lasting - Silicone-based lube is great for sex. Unlike water lubes, it doesn't evaporate, so it lasts about 20 times longer without needing reapplication. It also doesn't smell or leave you sticky once you wipe it off.
Safe - Studies show high quality pure silicone lube is inert and doesn't have any effect on the body's cells, the silicone molecules are also large and can't be absorbed through the skin. This means you can use it without any risk of infections, contact dermatitis or increased STI risk.
Silicone lube is definitely safer than most water and petroleum based lubes which can increase the risk of BV, STI contraction, and yeast infections. However, sometimes companies add essential oils and other ingredients to silicone lubes for extra skin soothing and fragrance, which has been known to cause allergic reactions in very rare cases.
Works with condoms - Liquid silicone is not an oil, so it is 100% condom compatible, unlike some plant-oil-based lubricants.
People use silicone lube for other activities too, not just sex.
Sports - Athletes use silicone lube to prevent chafing between their legs, arms and other places.
Tattoos - Rubbing silicone lube on tattoos conditions the skin and brings out their color.
Styling - Stylists use it as a to de-tangle, smooth, and condition hair. It's also used for massages and as a moisturizer.
Not So Perfect Things About It
It's Messy - It's not water soluble so it won't come off with with water, instead you need to rub it off with a towel. So your hands will be a little slick after you use it, but on the plus side, it's great for shower and underwater sex. After a few hours it comes off with your flow of mucous and sweat. Also try to keep it away from sheets, it can cause stains and leave dark marks that are difficult to get out.
It Destroys Silicone Toys - When Silicone lube meets a silicone toy, the toy melts and warps. This happens because the silicone lube molecules are like magnets for the silicone rubber molecules. As the silicone lube moves across the surface it takes silicone rubber with it.
You can still use silicone lube on metal, glass, wood, stone, ceramic and ABS plastic sex toys.
How It's Made
The base ingredient in silicone-based lube is polydimethylsiloxane or dimethicone a type of silicon which is derived from quartz, a mineral found naturally in the ground. To this, additional variations of liquid silicone are added to modify the viscosity and texture of the lube. Sometimes, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E and are also invited to the party, which can help soften and moisturize the skin.
Compared to other water-based lube the ingredients list is very small, just two or three types of silicone. Part of the reason for this is that silicone doesn't need preservatives and it doesn't need ingredients that prevent it from evaporating or separating.
Top Five Silicone-Based Lubes
Even though the label of two silicone lubes might have the same ingredients, the quality of silicone can be different. The best silicone lubes are well refined, pure, and medical grade.
Here are some silicone-based lubes that are vetted as the highest quality by sex shops like Smitten Kitten, Early To Bed and Babeland.
Price Per Oz
3.4 oz (100 ml)
$8.2 / oz
$6.1 / oz
$3.82 / oz
$5 / oz
$4 / oz
Note: All of these lubes are available in many sizes. Ranging from little $2 sample packets up to 32 fluid ounces plus. The bigger the size the cheaper the price per ounce: a 32 oz bottle of Gun Oil (950 ml) costs $58 or only $1.8 per ounce.
überlube - Best Looking Bottle
'Ooo fancy...' is the reaction that people give when you pull this lube out in the heat of the moment.
Uberlube is made at facility in Chicago where all they do is silicone lube. They say it is the highest grade silicone on earth and uses their own 'pharmaceutical level refinement process'. To me it feels good, but i'm not sure I could pick it out in a blind masturbation test.
The bottle is drop-dead gorgeous though, so big points for that. I kept it when it went empty and now I put my cheaper silicone lubes in it.
Pjur - Best Silicone Lubes For Anal Sex
Pjur is another company from kinky Germany and has the biggest selection of silicone lubes, with 7 different formulations available (most companies just have 1).
Pjur Original contains cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, and dimethiconol, the same ingredients as Sliquid Silver. It's thick and works for everything from anal to handjobs to massages.
Pjur Backdoor - This is most people's go to choice for anal sex lube. It contains the ingredients in Pjur Original, but adds in jojoba, which is similar to aloe vera and has a soothing effect on colorectal tissues. It is also the only silicone lube that has a butt picture on the label, which, all things being equal, i'll pick the lube with the nice butt.
Pjur Light has different ratios of the ingredients compared to Orginal. The result is a thinner lube that is better for massages and skin conditioning. It's a good idea to try Light if Original is too thick for you.
Pjur Her is formulated to be easier on sensitive skin and work better with the vaginal mucosa. It's a good choice for vaginal sex and use with metal sex toys like the Njoy pure wand.
Sliquid Silver - Best Affordable Silicone Lube
Sliquid makes personal lubricants as safe and healthy as possible. They use only vegan friendly ingredients, there's no animal testing, and it's made in the USA. If lube companies like K-Y are the dark side of the industry, then Sliquid is the light.
Silver is Sliquid's silicone-based lubricant is a blend of three types of silicone and pharmaceutical grade. You can get it in a 2oz, 4.5oz, 8oz, or a discreet 3.4oz glass container that looks like it's as likely to contain perfume or cologne as it is lube.
Gun Oil - Silicone plus Vitamin E
This is probably my least favorite on the list, but i'm biased because of the gun theme, which seems a little tacky. Still, it's a lube carried by my favorite sex shop Smitten Kitten, so it's worth mentioning.
It contains vitamin E and aloe vera, which makes it a good and unique lube for anal sex.
Difference the difference between gun oil and Pjur Original is hard to tell. Pjur feels a little more slippery, which might be because of the 'higher-quality' refinement process, but it's honestly very hard to tell the difference. The big advantage of Pjur is they have special formulations for different uses. But if you are looking for your first silicone lube, then Gun Oil or Swiss Navy would be the best affordable option.
Swiss Navy Lube is another good budget silicone lube. You can get an 8 ounce bottle for $30, which is cheaper than Gun Oil.
They also have an anal silicone lube that contains Eugenia Caryophyllus a type of essential oil. There are mixed studies on this ingredient, some say that it can promote cell growth and soothe skin, while other studies showed it to be a skin irritant. Their regular silicone lube formula does not contain Eugenia Caryophyllus.
You should also take a peek at the swiss navy tumblr, which has funny and informative guides by sexologist 'Dr. Jill'.
Sliding Into The Finish Line
That wraps up everything I know about silicone lube, thanks for making it to the end. If you have some slick science or silicone lubes to add to the best list, you can leave a comment below and personally make this page grow, grow, grow.