If you have sensitive skin, you need to be very careful when selecting sex toys. The skin around your penis or vagina is particularly delicate (as you’d expect), so you want to choose materials that won’t cause aggravation.

Of course, you can be allergic to almost anything, but some substances are highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions or irritation. These substances are commonly referred to as “hypoallergenic.”

Silicone is one such substance – or, to be more accurate, one such group of substances. The word refers to a range of synthetic materials that are inert (not chemically reactive) and indigestible, meaning that if you were to consume a silicone, it would pass through your body without causing any issues. Allergies are extremely rare, and some silicones are used in skincare and hair care products for their moisturizing properties. When in a liquid form, silicone has a silky texture, and solid silicone products often feel soft and smooth.

All of that means that if you have sensitive skin and you want to buy a sex toy, silicone is an excellent skin-friendly option. For the best possible results, you should look for a toy made from pure silicone to ensure that you won’t encounter irritation from other substances. If you do experience irritation after using a silicone toy, the tips below should help you find the source of the issue.

Look for Other Irritants. Make sure that the reaction isn’t due to another chemical or material. For example, the soap that you use to clean your toy could cause irritation and other symptoms; choose an extremely mild soap or switch to a hypoallergenic toy cleaner to limit your risks. You should also dry your toy carefully with a lint-free towel before storing it safely in a cool, dry place.

Other possible sources for irritants include your laundry detergent and soaps, lotions, and other products that you use on your body. Your physician can help you identify potential allergens.

Check Your Lube. Make sure that you’re using an appropriate lubricant. You should only use a water-based lubricant with a silicone toy, since silicone and oil lubes can break down the material in a matter of seconds.

Choose a fairly simple water-based lubricant that doesn’t contain a ton of additives. Avoid products with parabens (chemicals ending with a -paraben suffix such as methylparaben) and propylene glycol (a relatively safe ingredient that can cause irritation in large amounts). Synthetic ingredients aren’t the only culprit – herbal additives can certainly cause reactions.

Get a Medical Check Up If Problems Persist. If your skin often feels irritated or itchy, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or another potentially serious condition. Talk to your physician if you have any symptoms that don’t disappear after a day or two.

Silicone isn’t the only hypoallergenic substance. Phthalate-free ABS plastic and thermoplastic rubber (TPR) are also options for people with sensitive skin, so try a few different toys to find your favorite material. Our site provides material information for toys and ingredient lists for lubricants whenever possible to help you make safe, fun choices.