The Best Lubricant for Menopause Dryness to Use 24-7, Not Just During Sexy Time
Thanks to Pure Wow Senior Editor, Dana Dickey for including Honor Everyday Balm in their latest article!
"Actual phone calls, from memory: “OMG, I nearly dropped the phone when Rachel told me her vagina atrophied,” “Seriously, it’s like a baseball glove that you need to keep oiled and active, or else it gets stiff and hard to use” and “I’m considering having my vagina lasered to get it back in shape.”
Yep, these are the zingers you enjoy when your pals are going through menopause. Summed up as “a point in time when a person has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. Menopause is a natural part of aging and marks the end of your reproductive years” by the Cleveland Clinic, this event on average occurs at age 51. Besides your period ending, other natural occurrences can include hot flashes, brain fog and slipping on a fat envelope of cash. (Just kidding, but really there should, in all fairness, be something positive in there.) While numerous women’s health advocates we spoke with agreed that there’s an increased conversation among the public and media (TikToks even) about menopause, the “time of life” symptom that still gets ignored is vaginal dryness. So we’ve taken a deep dive into the best lubricants for menopause dryness, to spread the message that menopausal discomfort is totally treatable.
The 6 Best Lubricants for Menopause Dryness at a Glance
Meet the Experts
• Dr. Cheruba Prabakar is one of The Luna Daily Collective of medical advisors and a board certified OBGYN who specializes in treating women with heavy periods, abnormal bleeding, fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, and infertility. She is passionate about helping women with fibroids live a life free of bleeding and pain. She also treats many women who are undergoing IVF and need small polyps or fibroids removed from their uterus prior to their fertility treatments. Dr. Prabakar is also a nationally certified menopause practitioner and helps women through the transition with hormone therapy.
• Dr. Suzanne Fenske, MD, FACOG, ABIOIM, NCMP is an Ob/Gyn partner of Womaness, a female-led company whose high-performance collection of supplements, skincare and sexual wellness items are bringing greater access, visibility, pleasure and joy to 40+ woman to help them easily and unapologetically embrace their wellness needs.
• Lizellen La Follette is a globally recognized leader, educator and researcher focused on comprehensive healthcare for women, including birth control options, safe birth, and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) deliveries, along with aging strategies before, during and after menopause. An advisor to Stripes, the Naomi Watts-backed company that helps women age comfortably by creating products using natural and sustainable ingredients, La Follette is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Buck Institute and a member of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging’s Global Consortium for Reproductive Longevity & Equality (CRLE).
• Dr. Mindy Pelz, a leading women’s health expert, is the author of the bestselling book The Menopause Reset, a guidebook for women struggling with sudden menopause symptoms including sleepless nights, irritable moods, unexplained anxiety, trouble retrieving words, weight gain and hot flashes.
What Causes Menopause Dryness?
“When you go through menopause, your body’s estrogen levels fall by about 90 percent,” says Dr. Pelz. She says that in addition to hot flashes, irritability, and fatigue, “there’s also a less talked-about (but important!) side effect of low estrogen: vaginal dryness. Estrogen regulates the vagina’s lubrication and elasticity, and when estrogen levels drop, a lot of menopausal women experience dryness as a result.”
Dr. Prabakar adds that, “when it comes to vaginal and vulvar dryness specifically, this type of dryness can cause vaginal bleeding. When the tissue becomes so dry, it can chafe easily and cause bleeding. This is the most common cause of postmenopausal vaginal bleeding can also affect the urethral tissue due to the lack of estrogen. This causes frequent urinary tract infections in women above 50.”
During menopause, the vaginal skin “appears, due to lack of estrogen, to thin and enters a dormant state,” says Dr. La Follette. “So the elasticity, the lubrication and normal pH of the vagina are lost. The vagina skin loses elastin and collagen and becomes thin, dry and friable. The pH of the vagina increases (the vagina become less acidic) and can lead to vaginal infections like yeast and bacterial vaginosis.”
What Are the Different Type of Lubricants?
“There are lubricants that are used on a daily or weekly basis to maintain hydration in a similar fashion to the creams we apply to our face. These are viewed as vaginal moisturizers rather than lubricants,” Dr Fenske says. For instance, Womaness Daily V Soothe (part of a brand Dr. Fenske advises) is a daily water-based hyaluronic acid formula that is meant to maintain the moisture of the vagina and be used as part of a skincare regimen. “There are also lubricants that are used for lubrication for vaginal penetration and to help reduce friction,” says Dr. Fenske. “These lubricants can be water-based, silicone-based or oil-based.”
“As a result of hormone fluctuations during menopause, vaginal secretions lessen and (even when a woman is sexually stimulated) the vagina may remain dry which can make sex painful,” says Dr. La Follette. “The vagina also becomes less acidic, which increases the risk of infection and irritation. Intercourse becomes painful as now the vaginal skin has changed to a thin non-elastic and non-lubricated membrane: bleeding and pain with sex can occur.” In her practice, she recommends a three-pronged treatment: moisturize, lubricate and apply a vaginal estrogen.
What about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)?
Vaginal estrogen, which comes in formulations including a ring, a vaginal pill or a vaginal cream, are effective and safe ways to combat vaginal dryness, according to Dr. Prabakar. However, lingering controversies surrounding hormone therapy leave many women reticent to undertake it and doctors hesitant to prescribe it. (Unlike the over-the-counter remedies we’ve outlined here, vaginal estrogen requires a prescription from a doctor.) Dr. La Follette is unstinting in her assessment: “One of the great disservices of the FDA is that despite many studies of the safety of vaginal estrogen, even in women with breast cancer, the package insert is an alarmist inaccurate treatise. Namely, vaginal estrogen remains enormously safe and even the statistics in the black box warning in the vaginal estrogen package are misleading.”
It's between you and your doctor if prescription medicines (or procedures, such as the laser treatment one of our friends undertook, that was also lauded by Dr. La Follette) are right for you. In the meantime, there are a bathroom cabinet’s worth of non-prescription formulations to lessen the discomfort and lube up the vagina, outlined below.
- Promising Review: “I have been in great need of something that is hydrating to my dry extremely sensitive private parts. This product is amazing in ALL aspects!” writes Tricia S.
- Ingredients: Jojoba Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Beeswax
- Size: 1.7 oz.
We recommend this elegant little jar of lightly pink balm for its ability to glide on like Vaseline (which many opt against due to its petroleum-based formula and artificial ingredients) and then, when warmed by the vulvar skin, to soften into a quickly absorbing liquid. It’s pricey, however the whole experience, from its skincare-like tangerine glass jar to the nearly imperceptible botanical scent (is that the German chamomile I’m detecting?), makes this feel your vagina’s getting a luxury facial.
- Promising Review: “This is a very nice product, the packaging is glass and it has a pump to get the product out—I think that is so helpful to use. This product has helped my menopausal skin so much, I have had such dry skin,” writes one reviewer. “With the blend of Hyaluronic acid and glycogen, this moisturizer can be used daily to maintain hydration. This product will last a while because you only need to use 1-2 pumps.”
- Ingredients: Ectoine, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Vegan Glycogen
- Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Super lightweight, this gel has ingredients for all the ways your privates can act up: there’s ectoine and squalene, active ingredients used in face skincare that lock in skin moisture and form an environmental barrier. The hyaluronic acid deeply moisturizes, while the vegan glycogen helps keep the vaginal skin area to its naturally healthy, slightly acidic pH level. Plus, the rounded bottle and heavy glass has style, and we appreciate how the label is subtly discreet, rather than spelling out VAGINA TREATMENT in big clear letters.
- Promising Review: “Many of us have heard that coconut oil can be helpful for intimate relationships but who wants to keep a kitchen tub of it in the bedroom? Coco Bliss not only performs well in intimate moments, but the packaging is discrete and easy to use. Knowing that it has been studied for intimate use gives me the confidence to apply it. Plus, the product smells amazing and is great on dry skin such as my knees, feet, and elbows!” writes Idaho-based reviewer Dr. Kellye Schab.
- Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Jojoba Esters, Sweet almond Oil
- Size: 4 oz.
This coconut-oil based vaginal moisturizer has so many uses, we’re just shy of using it as a spread on our toasted morning muffin. The brand recommends using it not only as a daily moisturizer which soaks right into skin, but also on any dry skin such as elbows or knees. And the formula, which can be a bit unevenly textured until it all melts on contact, is useful as a sex lube, too. Finally, we’ve been known to smooth a bit on our ends for the chunky post blow-dry look. A slight caveat: It you’re super-duper sensitive to smells, the sweet almond oil and vanilla bean might make you think it’s perfumed, but those are just the natural scents of the non-irritating ingredients. Note to the brand: At 4 ounces, this size is too large for a carry-on bag, so we suggest a smaller travel kit, stat.
- Promising Review: “I’m so happy with this spray! It’s easier than using wipes to freshen up on the go. Super refreshing and the scent is light and natural. My skin feels clean and hydrated,” writes one reviewer.
- Ingredients: Prebiotics, Vitamins C & E, Omegas 3 & 6
- Size: 3.3 oz.
This hybrid cleansing/hydration formula gets our vote for being non-irritating and lightly moisturizing, as well as small enough to keep in a gym bag for when you need to freshen and moisturize on the go. It contains no soap, so it’s not drying, and it’s a subtle enough formula that it can be used by women who menstruate, too, for a vitamin-enhanced skin cleansing.
- Promising Review: “Great for sensitive skin,” writes reviewer Moon R. “This is the perfect texture, silky smooth without getting sticky and it lasts a good long while. I love the aloe base because it doesn’t irritate my skin at all whereas a lot of other organic lubricants do.”
- Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propanediol, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract
- Size: 8 fl. oz.
The natural moisturizing properties of aloe are the sell here, in this all-natural lubricant that’s a crowd pleaser for its suitability for use with toys and in intimate situations as it is for day-to-day vulvar skin care. Vegan, cruelty-free and free of parabens or fragrance, this pH-balanced formula sinks right into your intimate area, so it doesn’t stain fabrics like oil-based products can do. Finally, we are big fans of the dark-brown FDA PET plastic container with a pump top, since you can leave it out on your bedside and it looks like a fancy lotion, not a personal lubricant.
- Promising Review: "Love the small discreet packable options for weekend trips or whatever. Don’t have to worry about the top unscrewing and leaving your luggage gooey and gross."
- Ingredients: sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax
- Size: 14 packets, 1.4 oz. each
This box of pouches is handy for use as an everyday lubricant, a sexual lubricant or even a massage oil. The USDA-certified organic formula is cruelty-free and entirely edible, and has a texture that is a little thicker than a fluid, thanks to the coconut oil in the blend. On application, it liquifies close to instantly, and the non-petroleum based ingredients quickly absorb into delicate tissues. And though each pouch is slender, the 1.4 ounce contents can stretch to two applications. Note: While out of stock at our publication date, the single pouches will be restocked on July 11."