Is Vaseline good for lube?

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Is Vaseline good for lube? – One of the most common questions we get. And I believe it’s time to answer it. Within this helpful article, we are going to provide scientific aspect on the safety and health, regarding the application of Vaseline to your most private parts. So let’s jump to the topic “Is Vaseline a good lube“.

Numerous times I have found myself at home with an empty bottle of my preferred intimate lubricant. And I knew that my SO is coming over and that we both want some action tonight. So I stared looking around my house, if there are any household items that we could use as lube. Of course, Vaseline was right there in the bathroom drawer and it immediately got me thinking: “Can I use Vaseline as lube?”


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Needless to say, I failed to study Vaseline that night, and we did take advantage of it for our sexual act. What I’d also like to point out, is that “nothing went wrong”. No irritation, no infections, nothing… It seemed like Vaseline can’t be of any harm, and that it’s perfectly fine for my body.

However, I did study the ingredients later, and here’s what I found out: Vaseline may not be the perfect lube substitute to use when you run out of a proper lube.

Is Vaseline a good lube? – Not really. It contains ingredients, which you most certainly do not want to have inside your vagina. And the process of how it’s made is also quite alarming. Even by the words of the manufacturer himself, Vaseline was not made with sexual acts in mind. So we can answer is Vaseline good for lube question straight away – No, it is not. Keep reading to find out why.

You should be aware that many people use Vaseline when in need of lube. There’s nothing wrong with that if you aren’t a sensitive type and if you use Vaseline for lube occasionally. But replacing it for a proper lube, and using Vaseline as lube on regular basis, is considered unhealthy and might cause problems.

What is Vaseline?

Is Vaseline good for lube?

Before you go and use Vaseline as lube for sex, we should first get to know what exactly is Vaseline? I’ve seen that Vaseline is popular mostly when it comes to anal sex, but we will discuss this later.

Vaseline is a product (a brand) made by manufacturer Unilever. And if my Excel count works as it should, the current number of various Vaseline products is 49.

The original Vaseline (Vaseline Skin Care Petroleum Jelly Original) is what started it all. And the brand spread their range of products ever since. The Vaseline products can be divided mainly in these categories

  • Antiperspirants
  • Lip therapy lip stick
  • Skin care body butter
  • Skin care body gel
  • Skin care body lotion
  • Skin care hand cream
  • Skin care petroleum jelly
  • Skin care serum

So you can see, that Vaseline became an authority brand in the skincare niche. Whatever skin problem you may have, Vaseline has a product available to fix that problem for you.

The main ingredient in all Vaseline products is Petroleum Jelly (aka Petrolatum). In the next chapter we are going to focus on the analysis of Vaseline ingredients.

Top players (competition) in the skin care market are:

  • Unilever
  • Nivea
  • Maybelline
  • Ponds
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Lakme

Vaseline (Unilever) is by my quick pick into the market share, the 2nd largest manufacturer of skincare products, with Nivea being 1st on the very top.

So yeah, our article is focused at one of the largest manufacturers of skincare products, and we are not sure our findings will be beneficial for them. However, we will not submit any of our own opinion – we will stay objective and merely state facts and citations from independable authority sources.

Our main focus is to check if the ingredients used by Vaseline are safe to be applied to your most intimate parts. Is Vaseline good for lube?

What are the Vaseline ingredients?

If we want to analyze the ingredients we will have to get a bit “chemical” in this chapter. We will pick a Vaseline product and check for the safety of ingredients.

As we already mentioned there are lots of different Vaseline products out there. So we will focus on 2 only:

  • the original petroleum jelly Vaseline,
  • and Aloe soothe body lotion Vaseline.

So, lets first check the original petroleum jelly – is Vaseline good for lube?

Vaseline – original petroleum jelly: Ingredients assessment

The most common Vaseline product is the original petroleum jelly. It is also the product Vaseline became famous for.

It was designed for use as a moisturizer for dry skin. And you can also read on the back label, the warning “for external use only”.

It works by creating a sealing barrier, an impermeable layer, on top of the skin. This keeps body moisture locked / trapped inside, providing for an effect of making the skin look smooth, soft and moisturized.

There’s only one ingredient in the Vaseline original petroleum jelly – Petrolatum (aka mineral oil). So, is Vaseline good for lube?

Is Vaseline good for lube? – PETROLATUM

We should check this ingredient into detail. What exactly is “petrolatum” and is it a skin-friendly ingredient. Can it also be applied to vagina, without causing any problems. Are there any concerns that petrolatum (main Vaseline ingredient) can be harmful if used as lube for sex?

Actually yes, there are. Petrolatum is an ingredient that is of high concern as a skin care ingredient. It is an ingredient that you would not want to be using in your intimate lubricants [safecosmetics.org].

Why is petrolatum considered as harmful skincare ingredient? – Petrolatum is derived from petroleum (crude oil). It is a naturally occurring fluid / fossil fuel, which can be found below the earth. From this same liquid gasoline is made. For being able to use petroleum for skincare, it has to be severely processed, refined, dewaxed and distilled.

The reason behind this is, that in it’s crude shape, petroleum is poisonous for human’s. It contains PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which are carcinogens. However, several studies and analysis had shown, that products based on petroleum, are not 100% clean. Thus there’s a big chance of PAHs contamination when it comes to all petroleum-based products. – Main concern is therefore cancer.

Another reason to avoid petrolatum in your skincare products, is the way it works [theskincareedit.com]. Is Vaseline good for lube? – No… Is it good for skincare? – In long term; No…

Vaseline works good for your skin short term, making it look soft and smooth. We’ve already talked about possible cancer causing effect of petrolatum, however one other concern is the basic function of Vaseline. It locks in moisture.

And this is bad why? – Because trapping in body fluids is not a natural process. Human body functions are there for a reason. And when your body is releasing fluids, it’s cleansing itself from all the “garbage” that is trapped inside. By sealing your body moisture inside, you are basically not letting toxins out. While also not letting good stuff to be absorbed in by your skin.

For these two reasons we believe, that Vaseline should be avoided both as skincare ingredient and as lube substitute. Vaseline and sex, don’t work together.

Is Vaseline good for lube? – Vaseline original petroleum jelly contains petrolatum (ingredient), which can be contaminated with carcinogenic PAHs, and of which functions are not the healthiest for your skin in long term.

Vaseline – aloe soothe body lotion: Ingredients assessment

Aloe soothe body lotion is a product made by Vaseline, with the skin hydration in mind. Daily application is supposed to revitalize your skin and make it smooth and moist.

With the addition of Aloe Vera (which is a known miracle plant for skincare) this body lotion should be even better than comparable products.

However, we will see that not all the ingredients used are exactly skin-friendly. The first thing that catches my eyes, is that the Aloe used, is actually powdered, and not the natural fresh aloe gel. While I also happen to notice few ingredients, which are proven to be harmful in skincare.

Vaseline Aloe Soothe
pioti.unilever.com [2]

Just the opposite of the Vaseline original petroleum jelly, which we had seen had 1 ingredient only, the Vaseline aloe soothe body lotion has a number of ingredients to it –> 30 ingredients to be precise. Each having its own function, and not all are pleasant as we will learn.

We are only going to present those ingredients, that are rated as harmful, and explain why products containing these ingredients should not be used as a substitute for lube.

Is Vaseline good as lube? – GLYCERIN C3H8O3

Glycerin is the first ingredient that indicates that Vaseline Aloe Sooth Body Lotion may not be the perfect choice to use as lube. We already talked about glycerin in one of our previous articles, where we have made an in-depth research of this skincare ingredient.

The main finding of our research (based on available scientific studies) was that glycerin is an ingredient that should definitely be avoided, when it comes to vaginal application.

Is Vaseline good for lube? – Glycerin is not an ingredient that would be rated as hazardous by EWG Skin Deep, however it is has very specific properties that can cause infections when applied to your vagina.

The most notable reason, to why you should avoid glycerin in your intimate lubricants, is that it breaks down to sugars, which act as feeding source to Candida species (mainly Candida albicans). This contributes to Candida overgrowth, which may result in yeast infection.

It is natural to have Candida species in your vag. You also have it in mouth and other parts of your body. However an unbalanced number of a certain Candida or an overgrowth, is what is known to us as yeast infection. Some women are especially prone to yeast infections, and if you are one of them, you should certainly avoid using Vaseline as lube.

For this reason we’ve established on our 1st ingredient (Glycerin) analysis that Vaseline is not a perfect choice to be used as lube substitute.

Can Vaseline be used instead of lube? – BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL C14H20O

Butylphenyl methylpropional (also Lilial) is extremely toxic synthetic fragrance ingredient [marketwatch.com]. It is used due to its astonishing aromatic properties, which resemble the beautiful smell of the Lilly of the Valley.

Use of Lilial in cosmetics has been limited to 0.01% in the rinse off products and to 0.001% in the leave on products. This indicates just how harmful this chemical can be.

The most notable toxic properties of Lilial are [ewg.org]:

  • endocrine disruption;
  • persistent or bioaccumulative and moderate to high toxicity concern in humans;
  • known human any toxicant or allergen.

Lilial is the name to keep in mind. With high toxicity concern in humans and with its persistent bioaccumulative properties, butylphenyl methylpropional can pose great health hazard with long term usage.

This ingredient has also been listed as an irritant in 2001 by Contact Dermatitis. Is Vaseline good for lube? – With Lilial being one of Vaseline’s (aloe sooth) ingredients, Vaseline should be avoided as lube substitute. Regardless if you are planning on using it for vaginal or anal sex. It may pose harm in both cases.

Is Vaseline good for lube? – METHYLPARABEN C8H8O3 & PROPYLPARABEN C10H12O3

Parabens – You may have read about parabens being one of the key ingredients in cosmetics, which you should avoid applying to any part of your body. Their main function is preservation (preservatives prolong shelf life and make sure the product doesn’t go bad).

There are two reasons for that. All paraben ingredients (methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, … basically anything ending with the “paraben”) were big cancer causing suspects in early 2000’s. There was a research that found parabens in carcinogenic tumors. However, the 2001 research didn’t provide an irrefutable proof that parabens were actually the cause of cancer, it only found existence of parabens in tumors.

However the later 2016 study did proove that parabens are in-fact promoting the growth of tumors, and that this ingredient is cancer causing. It has endocrine disrupting properties, which means it messes up with your hormones, consequently (possibly) resulting in cancer (with long-term use).

Parabens are also labeled with high toxicity rating by EWG Skin Deep: methylparaben with the rating of 4 (orange), propylparaben with the rating of 5-7 (red), and butylparaben also with 5-7 (red).

Is Vaseline good for lube?

Using Vaseline as lube and applying parabens either vaginally or anally, or even just using parabens for external use as skincare, can pose harm to your health. This is not an opinion but a fact, established by various independable clinical studies. Instead of using Vaseline for anal sex, better use a proper ingredient-friendly lube.

Is Vaseline good lube substitute? – BENZYL ALCOHOL C6H5CH2OH

Based on orgaid.com, these are the worst alcohols that can be features in skin care products:

  • methanol,
  • isopropyl alcohol,
  • propanol,
  • benzyl alcohol,
  • and sd alcohol (alcohol denat.)

Why worst? Because some alcohols are perfectly fine, while the listed alcohols can be harmful for human health.

What you should worry about if you use a product that includes benzyl alcohol? – Mostly this alcohol is associated with irritations and burnings, while also causing dry skin with repeated use. Long term use of such products can contribute to damaged skin around (and inside) your anus / vagina and skin lacerations.

EWG Skin Deep rates benzyl alcohol with the grade of 5 (which is moderate/high hazard). The dangers pointed out by EWG are:

  • Allergies/immunotoxicity: known human any toxicant or allergen;
  • Allergies/immunotoxicity: associated with immunotoxicity or allergies;
  • Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive): classified as expected to be toxic or harmful;
  • Occupational hazards: allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses.

2nd Vaseline product (aloe sooth body lotion) turns out to include a number of harmful skincare ingredients. We established the same for the 1st Vaseline product (original petroleum jelly). Therefore, we believe that Vaseline is not a good lube substitute and that it should in no way be used sexually.

Is vaseline a good lubricant for anal sex? – No, it is not. As we already mentioned, using Vaseline for sexual acts is not a good idea from health perspective. Not only should you not use Vaseline for anal sex, you should avoid using all petroleum jelly products for either anal, vaginal or oral sex. Petroleum jelly is best to be avoided.

Can Vaseline be harmful if used as lube?

can you use petroleum jelly as lube - Vaseline lube for sex

If you use Vaseline as lube, will it harm you? – Let’s make something clear first. Reading about all these ingredients we pointed out, it may seem like Vaseline is toxic.

You should know that most of the harmful effects are caused only by long-term, repeated and frequent application of Vaseline to your most private parts.

If you are in desperate need for lube, and have nothing else at hand, you can just as well pick Vaseline and use it as lube for anal sex, or for any other form of sex (vaginal, oral).

One use will (probably) not harm you. However be prepared that:

  • If you use Vaseline for oral sex, you might get diarrhea, because Vaseline can not be digested.
  • If you use Vaseline for vaginal sex, you might get yeast infection or dry skin in your vaginal area.
  • If you use Vaseline for anal sex, you might end up having skin lacerations.

We are trying to establish within this article “Is Vaseline good for lube?” – Most of the findings of our research process, suggest that you should stay away from Vaseline, for it is petroleum-based. Petroleum jelly is known for not being an optimal substance to be used as lube, due to possible contamination with PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

But as we mentioned, single use will most probably not end up with any sort of terrible consequences, however it depends on the level of your sensitivity. Some people may even use Vaseline for lube and may never feel any discomfort.

However, the long-term use can be quite toxic. Metaphorically speaking it’s same as with cigarettes: the consequences appear slowly, but surely.

Is Vaseline good for lube? – Final thoughts

With this article titled is vaseline good for lube, we’ve come to a conclusion that Vaseline may not be the best lube substitute. We came to this conclusion based on the findings provided by performing the ingredients assessment.

We analyzed 2 different Vaseline products:

  • Vaseline original petroleum jelly, and
  • Vaseline aloe soothe body lotion.

Both products appear to contain ingredients, which are not optimal for applying to skin either externally or internally. Therefore application to (and inside) human most intimate parts is not recommended.

Using Vaseline sexually can therefore be harmful. Especially with repeated, and longer-term process. There are healthier home-held items, which you can use as lube and which can also provide for that slippery feel you’re searching for.

Is Vaseline good for lube? – No. Instead we recommend you look into one of the below articles, within which you may find what lubricants are best to use (from health perspective).

Based on our research titled: “Is Vaseline good for lube”, we are now able to answer a few more questions. For detailed information on why we answered specific question the way we did, you should read our complete article.

Below you’ll find our answers to 6 common question about using Vaseline and Petroleum jelly when it comes to sex.

What is petroleum jelly used for sexually?

Most people use petroleum jelly as lube for sex. Preferably it is used for anal sex, that’s why it is a popular home-held item used not only by straight couples, but also gay people. Petroleum jelly is not absorbed by skin, so it provides for a long-lasting slippery feel. However, recent studies suggest, that health-wise, petroleum jelly might not be the best solution for sexual lubrication.

Can petroleum jelly be used as a lubricant?

While there might be zero discomfort if you use petroleum jelly as lubricant, medical science is warning against it’s use. Petroleum jelly is made from crude oil, the same liquid used for creating gasoline. It doesn’t provide any nutritional value, and might cause problems to your vagina.

Can you put petroleum jelly on your vag?

It is not recommended. Petroleum jelly is severely refined, processed, and distilled and has zero nutrition. It doesn’t provide any health benefits to your skin. In the contrary, petroleum jelly is suspected of being harmful to your skin, and it is strongly advised by sexual-health experts that you do not apply it to your private parts.

Does Vaseline break condoms?

Yes, Vaseline breaks condoms. Vaseline is petroleum-based (oil), and all oils are known to dissolve condoms. You should never practice “safe sex” if you tend to use Vaseline as sexual lubricant.

Is Vaseline a good lubricant for anal sex?

Vaseline as lube for anal sex, may not be your best choice. Vaseline may contribute to dry skin, and skin lacerations. The main concern is however the possibility of contamination with PAH’s which are carcinogens.

What to use if you have no lube?

Vaseline is not recommended to use if you have no lube. There are of course substitutes which can work fine, and are actually healthy for your body and skin. Some of the best lube substitutes are:

  • Cold pressed virgin coconut oil [1]
  • Extra virgin olive oil [2]
  • Organic homemade aloe vera lube [3]
  • Cornstarch lube [4]
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