There are many different types of lubricants. Water, silicone, hybrid and oil-based lubes are all great in their own right, but when should you use a silicone-based lubricant versus a water-based one? What about hybrid lubes? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each, and what’s all this about oil and silicone?

The Different Types of Lube

  • Water-based lube
  • Silicone-based lube
  • Hybrid lube 
  • Oil-based lube 

Water-based Lube

The most widely used personal lubricants are water-based such as our AQUA collection. A good rule of thumb is: use water-based products with latex, adult toys, and sexual aids. Water-based products will not harm these materials, are easy to clean up, and won’t stain fabric.

WSC Water-based products are always vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free and safe for all latex products and toy materials.  We offer many water-based formulas so you’re sure to find a favorite. 

Our newest line of lubricants - simply® boasts clean water-based formulas for those looking to do it simply™.


  • Compatibility: Water-based lubes are safe to use with all condoms and most sex toys, making them very versatile.
  • Easy to Clean: They are easy to wash off with water and don't leave stains on fabrics.
  • Gentle on Skin: These lubes are generally gentle and less likely to cause irritation, making them suitable for people with sensitive skin.
  • Natural Feel: They often feel more natural and less heavy than silicone-based lubes.
  • Wide Variety: There is a vast range of water-based lubricants available, including options with various additives for extra sensation.


  • Quick Drying: Some brands dry out relatively quickly, requiring frequent reapplication. Wicked Sensual Care water-based lubes are exceptionally long-lasting.
  • Less Effective in Water: Water-based lubes are not ideal for use in water (like in showers or pools) as they wash away easily.

Water Based Versus Silicone Lubricant

Silicone-based lubricants, such as the Wicked Sensual Care Ultra collection, are a little different. These types of lubricants stay on the skin’s surface and are not easily absorbed or dispersed in water. Consequently, they create excellent slip-and-slide, last longer than water-based products and are ideal for intimate moments in the shower, bath, and beyond. 

When choosing water based versus silicone lubricant, there are a few things to keep in mind. Silicone lubes may stain delicate fabrics and require a little more clean up than water-based lubes, but using mild soap and water will do the trick.

Silicone Lubricant

Wicked Ultra has a clean, simple formula – 100% pure silicone. It is tasteless, fragrance-free, does not contain glycerin or parabens, and offers an intensely luxurious, slippery smooth feel.

Personal Preferences

  • Ultimately, the choice between water-based and silicone-based lubricants comes down to personal preference and the specific sexual activity being engaged in. Some people may prefer the natural feel of water-based lubes, while others may prioritize the long-lasting nature of silicone-based options.
  • Ingredients Sensitivity: As with other types of lubes, checking for potential irritants or allergens in the ingredient list is crucial, especially for those with sensitive skin.


By understanding the properties of different types of lubricant, users can make a more informed decision about which is best suited for their needs and preferences.

ultra silicone lube wicked sensual care


  • Long-Lasting: Silicone lubes last much longer than water-based options and don't need to be reapplied as often.
  • Water-Resistant: They are ideal for use in water, as they don't wash away easily.
  • Silky Texture: These lubes usually have a silky, smooth texture, providing a different kind of sensation.
  • Hypoallergenic: Most silicone lubricants are hypoallergenic, which is great for those with sensitive skin.
  • Non-Absorbent: They don't absorb into the skin, allowing for longer-lasting lubrication.


  • Hard to Clean: Silicone-based lubes can be harder to wash off and may leave stains on fabrics.
  • Not Always Toy-Compatible: They can degrade non-medical-grade silicone sex toys over time, making it essential to check compatibility.
  • Potentially Irritating: Some people may find silicone ingredients irritating to their skin, although this is less common.
  • More Expensive: Generally, they are more expensive than water-based lubricants.

Hybrid Lubes - Water Based and Silicone

Wicked Sensual Care hybrid lubes bring together all the benefits of water-based and silicone lubricants in one bottle. Enjoy superior slip from 10% silicone, with the easy clean up and benefits of a water-based lube. simply® Hybrid is also creamy in color and consistency. 


  • Balanced Formula: Hybrid lubes offer a balance between the natural feel of water-based lubes and the long-lasting nature of silicone-based lubes.
  • Less Sticky, Longer Lasting: They tend to be less sticky than water-based lubes and last longer, though not as long as pure silicone lubes.
  • Generally Safe for Toys and Condoms: Most hybrid lubes are safe to use with condoms and a broader range of sex toys compared to silicone-based lubes.
  • Easier Clean-Up than Silicone: They are easier to clean up than pure silicone lubricants, though not as easy as water-based lubes.
  • Comfort and Sensation: They often provide a comfortable, moisturizing feel and can enhance sexual sensation.


  • Potential for Staining: While they're less likely to stain than silicone-based lubes, there's still a higher risk compared to water-based lubes.
  • Variability in Formulas: The proportions of water and silicone can vary, leading to differences in texture and performance between brands.
  • May Require Reapplication: They may not last as long as pure silicone lubes, so reapplication might be necessary during prolonged activities.
  • Compatibility with Toys: Although generally safe, it’s still important to check compatibility with certain silicone toys, as the silicone component may cause degradation.
  • Price: Hybrid lubricants can be more expensive than standard water-based lubes due to their specialized formulation.

Oil-based Lubes

Finally, there are oil-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants tend to be thicker and heavier than water and silicone-based products. While these types of lubricants may be desirable for those hoping to avoid additives, certain preservatives, parabens, and/or glycerin, they may also increase the risk of bacterial infections when used internally

They do, however, provide great glide for stroking or massage sessions. Creme is a coconut and sweet almond oil-based stroking cream that is perfect for just these things!

When selecting a lube, take a moment to think about your wants and needs. Be honest about your desires, be mindful of health, and – most importantly – enjoy!

hybrid lubes

Special Considerations

  • Ingredients Sensitivity: As with other types of lubes, checking for potential irritants or allergens in the ingredient list is crucial, especially for those with sensitive skin.
  • Personal Preference: The choice often comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the sexual activity. Some might prefer hybrids for their balanced properties, while others might lean towards the specific benefits of water-based or silicone-based lubes.
  • Testing: Given the variability in texture and performance, it might be beneficial to try a small amount first to ensure comfort and satisfaction.
simply lubes and cleaners

simply® Lubricants

simply® lubes are clean lubricants that are slick, sensual, and never sticky. Free of glycerin, propylene glycol, and parabens, the simply® collection is also vegan, cruelty-free, and enhanced with our signature antioxidant-rich olive leaf extract known for its moisturizing and bio-static properties.