Silicone based lubricants include any personal lubricant that includes the ingredient dimethicone as a major component. Higher quality silicone lubricants should list this ingredient first to indicate that it is the primary substance in the gel. Dimethicone is a synthetic substance related to plastic that has many of the qualities of its cousin plastic but in a liquid or gel format. It’s a more effective alternative to water based lubricants because silicone lube stays slippery for longer without having to add water, but it doesn’t come with many of the negative consequences that oil based lube does. Unlike oil, silicone lubricants are safe to use with latex condoms because they don’t break down the material. They are also ideal for anyone with sensitive skin because silicone lube is less likely to cause skin irritation than even water based lube. Water based lube dries out if water is not reapplied and it has a sticky, tacky feeling when left dry on the skin. Silicone lube, on the other hand, generally dries smooth, leaving a velvety feeling on the skin. In fact, it is so delicate to sensitive skin and so silky feeling after it dries that most silicone based lubricants can actually be used as everyday moisturizers.

The silicone lubricant offers a slicker slide than those based from water, but they aren’t so slippery like oil based lubricants that there is a large risk of losing friction and, therefore, sexual sensation. Silicone lube is highly concentrated, so you only need to use a tiny dab and even a tiny one and a half milliliter packet should last three or four uses, depending on the brand. It won’t harm latex or silicone sex toys and it is ideal for playing in water, where water based lubricants would simply wash off. Silicone lubricants are also less messy, because they not only dry clean but they are also drip free because of flexible chemical bonds in dimethicone.

Like other lube, silicone lube comes in a huge variety of options, including silicone lubricants with warming or tingling mechanisms added, or with scents. They don’t generally come flavored because silicone based lubricants are inedible. Although they won’t harm your body, they are inert substances and won’t be digested. Consuming silicone lubricants is similar to swallowing a piece of gum. They also tend to be more expensive than water or oil based lube simply because their main ingredient is much more expensive to obtain than water or natural oil. Like most lube, silicone lubricants come in a variety of sizes, ranging from trial packets to thousand milliliter pump bottles, ensuring that there is an option within your price range. When the fun is over, silicone lubricants are easy to remove with soap and water and they are unlikely to leave behind a potentially bacteria-infested film like oil based options. If you’re looking for a safe, latex-friendly alternative to water based gels, silicone lubricants are your best option.