[Lube Review] Simply Aqua Water-Based Lubricant

Choosing lube should not be as much of a minefield as it is. Many lubricants still contain numerous toxic or otherwise harmful ingredients such as parabens, propylene glycol, glycerine, benzocaine, and petroleum-derived ingredients. And, of course, sex toy and lube safety do not feature in any sex ed curriculum that I know of.

I’m very choosy about lube, mostly to protect my vaginal health. I’ve had too many experiences of reaching for some random bottle of lube at a sex party or on a lover’s bedside table only to have to go and rapidly wash it off due to an adverse reaction to some ingredient or other.

At the current time, there are three brands of water-based lube I reach for on a regular basis: Sliquid, Wylde One, and Bloomi. I rotate others in occasionally (such as my fave CBD-infused lube and a silicone-based one I like when I’m not using silicone toys), but those three are my staples. When I go to play parties or on sex dates, I bring my own. As I said, I’m picky.

So did Simply Aqua water-based lube by Wicked Sensual Care meet my admittedly exacting lube standards?

Simply Aqua Water-Based Lube: What’s In It?

Woman's hand holding a bottle of Simply Aqua water-based lube

When I’m considering trying a new lube, the first place I go is to the ingredients list. The second place I go is to the internet to research any ingredients I’m not familiar with.

So what’s in Simply Aqua water-based lube?

  • Water
  • Propanediol (corn): the various sources I read tell me that this is an alternative to propylene glycol that is functionally virtually the same, with the key difference that it is derived from corn and its production is less environmentally damaging. However, it still seems to have basically the same effects in the body. These ingredients raise osmolality, which can cause dryness, irritation, and may increase the risk of yeast infections in people with vaginas. According to a fantastic in-depth post by fellow blogger Phallophile Reviews, many lubes – including this one – have an osmolality over the safe limit recommended by the World Health Organisation.
  • Cellulose gum (cotton seed): a safe plant-derived thickening agent.
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose (tree bark): a plant-derived gelling and thickening agent. Lubes with this ingredient can be a good choice for people trying to conceive as it does not hinder sperm motility.
  • Disodium EDTA: a stabilising agent that numerous sources sources mark as an ingredient of concern. It is a penetration enhancer, which means it facilitates the absorption of various compounds through mucus membrances (such as the vagina or anus.) It can also cause irritation.
  • Olea Europaea (olive) leaf extract: a safe ingredient that is rich in antioxidants and may have positive benefits for the skin.
  • Stevia Rebaudiana leaf/stem extract: a common plant-derived sweetener that is not a sugar and will not have the negative effects of sugars on the genitals. It may also have some skincare benefits when used topically.
  • Citric acid: this is commonly used in lube to balance the pH to more accurately mimic the body’s. It is also a preservative. Some sources say to be wary of this ingredient, while others say it is likely harmless in the tiny quantities that appear in lubricants.
  • Sodium benzoate: a food-grade preservative that is likely harmless in the small quantities used in lube.
  • Potassium sorbate: Another food-safe preservative which can be an irritant in higher concentrations but is likely used in such trace amounts here as to be harmless.

Yeah, it’s not looking too good for this lube. The natural ingredients with beneficial properties, such as the stevia and olive extracts, are positives. However, the use of propanediol and disodium EDTA give me serious pause.

Wicked Simply Aqua is suitable for vegans and certified cruelty-free. It is also pH balanced for vaginal use.

Sensory Properties & Performance In Use

It’s a real shame about Simply Aqua’s couple of questionable ingredients, because I actually really liked its sensory profile and performance. It has a nice medium-thin consistency, flows well, and a little goes a long way. It is also non-sticky, doesn’t leave a tacky residue behind, and won’t stain your sheets.

Its scent is mild and only really noticeable if I have my nose very close to the product. What scent there is, I can best describe as tangy and mildly citrussy. Its taste is surprisingly sweet, which I imagine is due to the stevia.

It feels nice, lasts well (for a water-based product, which will always need reapplying eventually), and works well with my body’s natural lubrication.

Verdict

Sadly I cannot recommend this one.

Despite its nice sensory properties and solid performance, the ingredients are too problematic. Of course, your acceptable risk profile may be different from mine. As always, I’m only giving you my personal opinion and experience. And this time, my opinion is that there are plenty of better, body-friendlier lubes out there that you should buy instead. Try:

Wicked Simply Aqua retails for $14.99 for a 4oz (120ml) bottle.

Thanks to Babeland for sending me this product to review. All views are, as always, mine! Affiliate links appear in this post.

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