Vaginal moisturizers and personal lubricants: Are they the same?

Happy couple smiling together.

Vaginal dryness can be irritating and uncomfortable. But there are ways to help relieve the discomfort of vaginal dryness. Vaginal moisturizers and personal lubricants add moisture or lubrication to the vagina, but they can come in different formulas and may be used differently.

Read on to learn what personal lubricants and intimate moisturizers are, when you might need them, and how vaginal moisturizers and personal lubricants compare.

What is a vaginal moisturizer?

Vaginal moisturizers are products designed to help add moisture to the vagina and relieve the discomfort of vaginal dryness, even if you are not planning to have sex.

Some vaginal moisturizers prescribed by your doctor may contain estrogen. Replens™ Vaginal Moisturizer is an estrogen-free, water-based solution to help replenish internal vaginal moisture.

When do I need a vaginal moisturizer

Use a vaginal moisturizer when you are experiencing discomfort from vaginal dryness. Millions of women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) have vaginal dryness. Studies estimate that around 20% of women younger than age 53 have vaginal dryness and that percentage goes up as you get older. Vaginal dryness can be caused by:

  • Perimenopause or menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Chronic stress
  • Medications
  • Smoking
  • Other medical reasons

What is a vaginal personal lubricant?

Personal lubricants can be applied to the penis or the vagina and are intended to moisturize and lubricate. Use a personal lubricant to enhance the ease and comfort of intimate sexual activity and to supplement the body’s natural lubrication.

Vaginal personal lubricants can be water-based, oil-based, or silicone-based. If you’re using a condom during sex, choose a water-based or silicone-based personal lubricant such as Replens™ Long Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer and not an oil-based lube.

It can be a good idea to keep personal lubricant on hand, so you always have some available when you need it.

What’s the difference between a vaginal moisturizer and a personal lubricant?

The basic difference between vaginal moisturizers vs. personal lubricants is when and how you use them. Personal lubricants supplement the body’s natural lubrication and help moisturize the vagina during sex for enhanced ease and comfort, while vaginal moisturizers are used for vaginal dryness. Vaginal lubricants are usually applied directly to the vulva, penis or sex toy, while vaginal moisturizers can be inserted into the vagina with an applicator.

Can you use both a vaginal moisturizer and a personal lubricant?

If you’re using a vaginal moisturizer to help with dryness and discomfort, you can still use a personal lubricant before sex to provide added lubrication and greater comfort and pleasure.

Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant vs. Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer

Replens™ Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant and Replens™ Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer are both from the doctor recommended vaginal moisturizer brand Replens™ and are free of hormones, fragrance, and parabens.

Replens™ Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant is a silicone-based moisturizing lube that is compatible with natural rubber latex and non-latex condoms. Replens™ Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer is a water-based personal lubricant to help replenish vaginal moisture and supplement the body’s natural lubrication for up to 3 days. This formula stays in place to provide moisturize for long-lasting hydration. It’s compatible with natural rubber latex and polyisoprene condoms and is available in a tube with a reusable applicator or single-use pre-filled applicators that are also compatible with polyurethane condoms.

If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, turn to the Replens™ brand for a solution that helps add moisture and lubrication, whether to relieve discomfort during sex, everyday – or both.