If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your foreplay, there’s nothing better than a sensual massage.

However, before you reach for your trusty bottle of massage liquid, you need to know whether you can safely use it as a lubricant. Otherwise, you could increase your risk of infections – or just a sticky, unpleasant experience.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when making your choice.

Stay Away from Oils – Many products use natural oils to keep your skin feeling slick and smooth. They can also provide a pleasant scent, which adds some aromatherapy to the massage.

While oils feel fantastic, they’re not always safe for internal use. Many common oils can feed bacteria and fungi, increasing your chances of contracting an infection. Oils will also break down latex condoms, potentially exposing you to sexually transmitted diseases.

Some oil-based massage products are safe for anal sex, but they might not provide enough cushioning for a comfortable experience. You’re better off sticking with a water or silicone-based lubricant.

Look for a “Body Safe” Liquid – Manufacturers often use the term “body safe” to indicate that you can use their products internally. This isn’t a regulated term, but it’s a good way to determine whether your massage liquid will work for intercourse.

You can also check the ingredient list and look for oils, sugars, and alcohols. If the liquid has any of these ingredients and it isn’t specifically advertised as a sexual lubricant, it’s probably not formulated for penetrative sex.

Choose the Right Consistency – After you’ve found a safe lube, you’re good to go – however, for the best possible experience, you’ll want to choose a lube with an appropriate consistency. Thicker lubricants are better for anal sex and masturbation, but they’re not always ideal for massage.

Thinner lubricants feel natural during sex and massage, and they’re generally a better choice. While some thin lubricants dry out quickly, many formulas include glycerin, xylitol, or silicone to provide long-lasting slickness.

Many of the products on our site have demonstration videos that show various lubricants and massage oils in action, so look around to find a product that fits your personal preferences.

Using a Warming or Cooling Lubricant – Many massage liquids have stimulating ingredients, so read the bottle carefully. Warming ingredients like peppermint oil and capsaicin might feel great on your back and chest, but they could be overwhelming when applied to erogenous areas. Exercise caution and test your lube before using it on sensitive skin.

To stay safe, remember that you’ll usually have an easier time finding a personal lubricant that works as a massage liquid than you’ll have finding a massage liquid that works as a personal lubricant. In other words, if a liquid is safe to use internally, it’s safe for the rest of your body, and many sexual lubricants leave your skin feeling fantastic.

Look for a decent water or silicone lubricant and try it on a small section of your skin before committing to a full massage. Silicone lubricants are a particularly great choice, since they have an unbelievably smooth, silky feeling. However, water-based lubricants are often easier to clean up.

If you do decide to use an oil-based lubricant for your massage, keep it away from condoms and don’t use it for vaginal sex. Have another lubricant on standby for when you’re finished with the massage oil; a little early preparation will pay off in the long run.