As a pelvic floor therapist, I make many recommendations, lube being one.
There are a few things to consider when looking at lubes. There are 3 main types of lube: water based, fat/oil based, and silicone. In this post I'm only going to cover water based lubes.
Water based lubes are great for a first lube experience! They tend to be easy to use and they are good for masturbation, therapeutic stretching (like with a self stretching tool--more on this later), sex with toys and/or sex with another human! Water based lubes also wash off easily and they don't stain clothes and sheets. There are a few drawbacks though: water based lubes can get sticky, they don't work in water/shower/bath scenarios, and they often require frequent re-application since they are absorbed by the body.
Words of warning:
Some lubes contain ingredients that are actually toxic to the mucosal tissue of the vagina. I did a deep dive in the literature: specific ingredients cause the lube to have a high osmolality (as compared with normal vaginal tissue), and this can affect the health of vaginal tissue. By health, I mean, it can compromise vaginal tissue viability, barrier integrity, and tissue morphology. These are essentially fancy ways of saying that it's going to change the ability of your vaginal tissue to protect itself from pathogens like bacteria (think BV) and e. coli (UTI). The ingredients to look out for are glycerin or glycol, propylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol. If one of these ingredients is in the top 4 ingredients in your lube, you are increasing your risk of tissue breakdown that makes you more susceptible to bacterial vaginosis (BV) and also increases sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission. As a general rule, if you are someone with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bacterial vaginosis (BV) or yeast infections; I'd definitely steer clear. I wasn't able to ascertain if these are dangerous lubes to use if you are alone in your sexual or therapeutic endeavors. I, for one, am a person who likes simple though: give me one lube for all purposes.
I have a few favorites that I'd like to point out that have been around for a few years. I use Slippery Stuff in my clinic with most of my patients. Good Clean Love Almost Naked is a solid choice. And--as a bonus--it's also carbon neutral! I also recommend Sliquid Naturals (especially the H20) as a good option. Ah Yes! Is another potential option. I'm sure there are others out there, too!