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Lubricants Ear Stretching: Oils and Balms to Stretch Piercings

Lubricants Ear Stretching: Oils and Balms to Stretch Piercings

Ear stretching oil (lubricants) are essential, providing not only comfort but also promoting skin elasticity and aiding in the healing process from stretching ears. Understanding the role of lubricant and applying it regularly can make a significant difference towards your stretched lobes' health and longevity.

Lubricants come in many forms ranging from commercial grade balms like Ear Butter to food grade oils like coconut oil, along with many other natural oil substitutes used for lubricating the lobes when stretching. Lack of lubricant when stretching, or its underuse, can cause potential risks ranging from mild-to-serious, depending on the earlobe's condition. That's why it is advised to always use ample amounts of lubricant when stretching.

With ear stretching becoming more popular, its important to know about the benefits and effects of using ear stretching lubricants so you can be an informer buyer, as piercing stretching will forever be a cultural practice and continue remaining as a growing beauty trend according to predictions by researchers at The American Academy of Dermatology (2020).

As a result, questions arise regarding what's the best jojoba oil for ear stretching, which ear stretching balm is recommended most, and how does ear stretching butter compare against the rest. It's all covered below, along with the top 2 recommended lubricants to consider for stretching ears, other natural oils as the best substitutes, evaluation of the differences between them, using lubricants with the jewelry materials consideration, lubricants best for avoiding issues, 8 factors to consider when you buy lubricants, and which products to avoid entirely.


Since 2006, we've been reminding people to not forget the lube (mostly customers) as we're approached daily about our preferred ways of stretching ears. People love the look of body jewelry for stretching piercings found at PlugYourHoles.com, and as it takes the proper lubricant to stretch the piercing hole healthily to plug the hole with jewelry, which is why we created this guide to share the wisdom from the streets (and sometimes the lab) in this concise guide.

The proper use of these lubricants can help you get the most from your stretch sessions, and next we'll cover the top lube options.


Which 2 lubricants are best for ear stretching?

Lubricants, from a medical point of view, are viewed as a slippery substance. Since there are so many misconceptions regarding best oils for ear stretching, we'll cover the top sellers. A lubricant safe for ear stretching must work effectively and be body-safe, though the bar can be raised higher.

Lubricants such as Jojoba (JOJO) and Ear Butter are the best, making it easier to stretch ears so we'll cover both below.


#1 Jojoba Oil for Stretching Ears

Jojoba is the most popular ear stretching oil used by people with stretched ears.

This natural oil is derived from the seed of the jojoba plant, which grows in the Southwest United States and Mexico. Jojoba oil works well for stretching piercings because it is very similar to human sebum, which helps to dissolve hardened wax deposits that can form inside a stretched ear lobe.

NOTE: While you can use plant-based oils like jojoba oil, there's a better alternative specifically tailored for this purpose - Ear Butter. This unique stretching balm is designed with your earlobe health in mind.

#2 A Quality Ear Stretching Balm

Ear Butter is an ear stretching balm that was specifically designed to help you safely and comfortably stretch your ears. Combining the best of ingredients, with Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E Oil, Ear Butter also contains a mix of several other beneficial ingredients, including: organic beeswax, karnanja oil, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, and clove bud oil which all combined to help for giving you a good stretch.

This balm has been formulated to provide excellent lubrication while also helping to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Founder of Plug Your Holes, Sam Dean, discusses more on this balm below:



Comparing the best options

Alternatively, Ear Butter Black (with Activated Charcoal) provides an additional benefit. Since activated charcoal isn't absorbed in the skin, it helps in reducing earlobe odors and drawing toxins and bacteria to the surface, trapping unwanted bacteria from being absorbed by the body.

Commercial-grade balms moisturize the stretching area and are specifically designed for ear stretching used to soothe and moisturize the skin. The table below compares the top stretching lubes for sale on PlugYourHoles.com to spoil yourself:

Ear Butter

Ear Butter Black (with Activated Charcoal)

JOJO Jojoba Oil

Main Benefit

Ear Butter is easy to use - simply apply it directly to the stretched area of your ear.

Add Activated Charcoal and you get Ear Butter Black to add on a layer of odor-ness and other benefits when stretching. Jojoba oil is the best lubricant for ear stretching which can be used in its pure for or as an additive to stretching balms.
Preparing Stretch
During Stretch
After Stretch

A commercial-grade lubricant such as Ear Butter of Jojo Oil helps you from preparing to stretch to massaging the lobes after a stretch.

Choosing the right lubricant can make a significant difference in your ear-stretching journey so if you're still considering which stretching lubricant to use, you might like some of the alternative lubes to suit your needs.


Which oils are considered the best ear stretching lube substitute?

When considering a substitute for ear stretching lubricant, there are several options available, including Vitamin E Oil, Coconut Oil and other plant based lubricants.


Vitamin E Oil for Stretched Ears

Vitamin E oil is a great option for stretching ears. Vitamin E oil can be found in its pure form or as part of a mix of essential oils. It helps to reduce inflammation, and it also aids in healing the skin. Some people find the consistency of pure Vitamin E Oil too sticky for their tastes, so it's important to find a brand of vitamin E that you like and want to use consistently. Vitamin E Oil can also be used as an additive, as it helps you stretch your ear by increasing the elasticity of your skin.


Coconut Oil for Stretching Ears

Coconut oil is an option that can be used as a stretch aid to help some people reduce scarring, due to its moisturizing properties. This natural oil contains fatty acids that help promote soft and supple skin, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.


Olive Oil for Ear Stretching

Olive oil is another natural option that can be used to help stretch your ears. It's an excellent moisturizer and contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce pain and irritation.

Extra virgin olive oil sometimes has "cold-pressed" on the label meaning that it hasn't exceeded a certain temperature threshold in processing. Cold-pressed refers to the standard in food processing where the temperature doesn't exceed 81.9° F, mostly used for preserving flavor and aroma within the product. The lesser temperature of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil concerns some people about microbes which may exist in cold-pressed olive oil when stretching, however, if you choose a product and like the results from it, olive oil can work for stretching.

Whichever your choice, stretching lubricants are essential for providing comfort and promoting skin elasticity during the stretching process. It’s important to find the right product for you, as different products may work better depending on your individual results.


Which other plant based lubricants work for stretching?

Non-additive plant-based lubricants can be a great option for stretching when you're in a pinch. Using food-grade lubricants can help combining safe use of the lubricants when massaging the lobes. Popular plant based lubes, include, avocado oil, almond oil, tea tree oil and vegetable oil, all covered below.

New Lubes Overview
Avocado Oil Made from the pulp of avocados and used for lube when stretching
Almond Oil Gentle oil for stretching used for applying inside the stretched hole
Tea Tree Oil Helps to reduce swelling by drawing out excess fluid from the inflamed area of stretching site. Use for healed piercings only, not recommended for fresh piercings
Vegetable Oil In a pinch vegetable oil is sometimes used but can go rancid quicker

Additionally, some swear good results with other plant based oils to stretch such as Lemon Oil, Grape See Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Peanut Oil, or Walnut Oil.

Using a safe and effective lubricant is crucial for a smooth and painless stretching experience. Skip the sketchy stuff. Opt for natural options when in doubt.


What are the differences of popular lubricants used for stretching?

Optimal lubrication is important for confidently stretching the ears, and below are the comparison with pros and cons for each of the popular stretching lubricant options.

Lubricant Pros Cons
Jojoba Oil gentle on the skin, absorbs well, and helps moisturize the earlobe, Maintaining supple lobes and skin rejuvenation is what jojoba is known for when stretching. It can be unsafe if taken orally
Vitamin E Oil powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage. It also helps moisturize the skin and may help reduce scarring, aids in tissue repair and promotes healthy skin Some find it thick and sticky to use compared to other lube options
Coconut Oil natural moisturizer that helps lubricate the earlobe during the stretching process, Renowned for its antibacterial properties, coconut oil helps prevent infections during stretching Sits on the skin like a coating and isn't as deeply absorbed on earlobe, some don't appreciate the smell of coconut oil
Emu Oil derived from the fat of emus and is known for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. It is believed to help reduce pain and promote healing during the stretching process Oil can turn rancid with foul odor, skin irritation in some cases, and emus are harvested for cosmetic purposes which is a turn off
Olive Oil natural oil for helps with retaining moisture in earlobe, easily accessible type of oil Can become acidic when going bad which isn't good for stretching
Tea Tree Oil known for its antiseptic properties, tea tree oil can be used as an alternative to Vitamin E or jojoba oil. However, dilute it with a carrier oil before application to avoid skin irritation Stings when applied for some people

Most stretching lubricants have some form of natural oil or moisturizing ingredient, such as Vitamin E Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Jojoba Oil. These natural ingredients offer great benefits to the skin while stretching.

Choosing the right oil can make all the difference when it comes to ear stretching. Natural oil ingredients are highly recommended for their lubricating properties, maintaining skin health during the stretching process along with promoting skin healing and elasticity.

The process of ear gauging requires a good lubricant to ensure a smooth, painless insertion and to soften the skin.


Is Vaseline Safe for Ear Stretching?

Petroleum based lubricants, such as Vaseline, are not recommended for stretching. Its thick consistency can trap bacteria, leading to infections in both fresh and standard ear piercings. It also doesn't allow the skin to breathe, which can slow down the healing process of a fresh or recently stretched piercing.

In short, while Vaseline may be useful for many things, it's not recommended as a lube for ear stretching. Stick to safe and natural options to ensure a smooth and successful stretching process. Instead, opt for natural oils or specially formulated stretching balms for a safer and healthier stretching experience.


Why do You Need Compatible Lubricants for Materials?

Stretching is easier with lubricants, and the materials matter throughout the stretching process.

The compatibility between lubricants and the material of your jewelry used for stretching is crucial for a safe and effective stretching process. Quality stretching materials for earlobes work well with most natural oils and stretching balms. However, lower-quality metals in other jewelry might react adversely with certain lubricants, leading to discomfort or even infection.

The special formulas of stretching lubricants are designed to reduce friction, promote healing, and prevent complications during the stretching process. But beware - using the wrong lubricant for your taper or plug material can lead to discomfort or even damage.

Choose Quality Products: Opt for high-quality lubricants that have been tested for compatibility with various materials used in ear stretching. This protects your ears and promote overall ear health as you work towards your desired gauge size.

NOTE: Don't risk unnecessary pain or complications during your stretching journey. Invest in a compatible and high-quality ear stretching lubricant to ensure a smooth and safe process.

Crusty material on your jewelry suggests poor hygiene practices, though, which should be addressed. Additionally, always ensure you're using a safe material for your jewelry and a compatible, high-quality lubricant to maintain the health of your stretched ears.


How can using proper lubricants contribute to preventing infections?

Lubricants such as Jojoba oil, Vitamin E Oil or Ear Butter Stretching Balm are commonly used to prevent infections by lubricating the earlobes, massaging the substance generously throughout the ear while promoting healing before, during and after each stretch.

Before you start stretching, always make sure your piercing is completely healed in order to eliminate variables of the potential of infection originating from the piercing site itself. Learn the stretching ears for beginners free guide if its your first time stretching. Below are some general guidelines on lubes to prevent infection:

  1. Gradual stretching with lubes helps prevent complications like blowouts
  2. Persistent itching using a certain brand may indicate an issue such as an allergic reaction and should be evaluated further
  3. Keeping your stretched ears clean is just as important. Don't slack on hygiene, or you might end up with redness, swelling, or discharge - all signs of an infection. To avoid bacterial infections, maintain cleanliness during the stretching process.

Proper use of ear stretching lubricants can significantly reduce the risk of stretching complications such as infections, blowouts, and scar tissue formation. With proper use, lubricants facilitate painless insertion of jewelry, reducing skin irritation and maintaining natural skin elasticity. They also help in removing dead skin cells that can cause unpleasant smells during stretching sessions.

The feeling of angry stretch lobes, foul smells, or any unpleasant smell can be signs of an infection. Regular cleaning and lubrication with suitable products can help prevent these issues.


What are the 8 factors to consider when buying stretching lubricants?

Selecting the ideal lubricant is critical for a successful ear stretching experience.


#1 Friction-Reduction

You want the lube you buy to work as directed. The function of a lubricant is to reduce friction. Otherwise, when friction between objects heats up, and with the surface being that of the skin, it can get irritated or damaged further with too much heat.


#2 High Boiling Point

A high boiling point is an ideal attribute to have with the lube you choose. To stay liquified within a wide range of temperatures, this way the lube remains intact and doesn't melt away. The boiling point for lubricant oils ranges anywhere from 572° F to 1112° F so there's no doubt when using tried-and-true stretching oils, that there's plenty of range for heated action without worries for reactions.


#3 Moisturizing

Continuous hydration for supple lobes with proper lubrication helps keep your earlobes moisturized by maintaining their suppleness and reduces discomfort during the stretching process. Remember to reapply as needed throughout the day to ensure optimal moisture levels are maintained.


#4 Timing

The selection of lubricants and knowing when to do it and how long the lubricant is active plays a pivotal role in successful and comfortable ear stretching. The timing of ear stretching greatly influences the type of lubricant used. For fresh stretches, lighter oils like jojoba or vitamin E oil are ideal due to their healing properties. As the ear heals and time between stretches increases, thicker lubricants such as ear stretching balms or commercial-grade lubricants become more suitable, providing ample lubrication for larger sized gauges.

Regular application of these lubricants during the healing period between stretches keeps the skin soft and promotes healing. Just before future stretches, applying the chosen lubricant helps ensure smooth insertion of the jewelry you're using, ensuring you're at the appropriate size.


#5 Sizing

Consider the size of your current body jewelry as well. Lubricants that work well with gauge jewelry might not be as effective for larger body jewelry pieces. For the original size of the ear piercing, lighter oils like jojoba or vitamin E oil are ideal due to their healing properties. As the earlobe stretches to accommodate larger gauge sizes, thicker lubricants such as commercial-grade stretching balms provide adequate lubrication and ease the stretching process. It's best to review the sizes for stretching ears to know which size transition you're at and which lube is best for that transition. Regularly applying these oils or balms according to the current size of your jewelry ensures a smoother and healthier stretching journey.


#6 Natural

Natural ear stretching lubricants offer numerous benefits for body jewelry wearers. They're packed with essential nutrients that nourish your skin, promoting healthier and more elastic lobes. Plus, they're gentler on the skin than synthetic options. Aside from their health benefits, natural lubricants are environmentally friendly too.


#7 Choose Quality Products

When buying budget-friendly ear stretching lubricants for your jewelry, consider the type of jewelry you're using. Opt for high-quality items like those from PlugYourHoles, designed to ensure a safe and healthy stretching experience along the way.

Look for lubricants that contain beneficial ingredients and are free from harmful additives. A specialized cleansing product like a body piercing aftercare solution can be a valuable addition to your routine.


#8 Choosing the Right Lube for You

Ultimately, the best lube for stretching ears depends on personal preference and skin type. It's important to choose a lubricant that is gentle on the skin and helps reduce friction during the stretching process.

Remember, everyone's individual skin is distinct, so a lube that works for someone else may not be suitable for you. Experiment with different lubes until you find the perfect one for your stretching journey. Ear stretching costs can add up so it's important to start with the basics of ear stretching and use the lube to build-on from there.

More lubricant options you'll find out there, include, Bepanthen, Lucas Papaw, etc but we're not discussing those, but you can read more about those on Reddit. Choosing the right lubricant for you helps you enjoy most effective earlobe stretching experience for you.


How do lubricants affect proper care stretching ears?

Lubes make the stretch easier. Hygienic stretching is vital for a comfortable stretching experience and maintaining skin health. Regular cleaning of the surrounding area with warm water and antibacterial soap helps keep the stretched area free from bacteria. Salt water soaks, made by dissolving a pinch of salt in a cup of boiling water and allowing it to cool, can also aid in keeping the modified skin clean and healthy. Ear stretching maintenance is important all throughout.

Use care and aftercare guidelines for stretching ears to help throughout the process. Proper care instructions include keeping the skin well-lubricated with oils suited to your current stretch size which ensures a comfortable stretching process and helps maintain the skin's health. Always remember to rinse off any soap or salt water thoroughly with clean water to prevent irritation or drying out of the skin.


Which lubes should be avoided when ear stretching?

Avoid using oils such as Baby Oil, Castor Oil, mineral oil-based products, and lubricants that that been fragranced (e.g. added lavender scents). Some people have more difficulty with Bio Oil, while others swear by it. Never use Neosporin of Vaseline to stretch as they trap bacteria which isn't good during the process of stretching the earlobe holes.

Though ancient forms of lubricants involved the blending of herbs and oils available to stretch when considering the long history of stretching ears, nowadays we can luckily rely on more trusted ways to stay lubricated.


Lube Takeaway

The use of a safe lubricant is essential for comfort and ease when expanding piercings. Adequate lubrication, combined with proper aftercare, can significantly improve your ear stretching experience. Choose the right lubricant for you.