The short answer is No, please don’t use it.
We always recommend using a sexual lubricant to our customers who purchase a sex toy, and some customers say “I don’t need one, I use Vaseline”. Even some healthcare professionals still recommend it even though it was never designed for sexual use.
Please note: we are not picking on Vaseline as a brand. It is a high quality petroleum jelly, and certainly has its place in the home medicine cabinet – the comments below apply to all petroleum jelly products.
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline is 100% pure and refined petroleum jelly which is a by-product of the oil industry. It is a soft and semi liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is white, transparent and mainly used for healing of skin, intended to be used as a topical cream, locally applied over the part of the body where the skin has become wounded or cut.
Naturally people assume that it moisturises and hydrates skin, therefore is good for sex. However it forms a thin transparent film over the skin creating a barrier to lock in moisture to encourage the skin’s healing process, making it great for chapped lips but not your vagina or vulva.
Why can’t I use it as a sexual lubricant?
Petroleum jelly acts as a barrier. It is not easily absorbed into the body, and it stays on the vulval tissue and on the walls of the vagina. Being water repellent it does not dissolve in water, therefore you cannot be sure that it has completely has been removed from the part of the body where you have applied it.
It clogs the pores of the skin of the walls of the vagina and the vulva, leading to tiny lumps which may become infected.
It can damage your sexual health
This may cause issues if you use it for masturbation, then have sex using a condom the next day as it remains in the vagina and on the vulva and will damage the material of condoms, increasing your risk of becoming pregnant or contracting a sexual transmitted disease. Remember – this applies to men as well as women.
Vaseline is also unsafe to use with latex condoms due to the mineral oils it contains. These oils react with the latex and make the condom burst. Vaseline can also degrade the silicone commonly used to coat sex toys, so it is not recommended to be used as a lubricant with silicone vibrators, dildos or dilators either.
Vaseline has been found to cause vaginal infections too.
A 2 year study at UCLA (2013) found that women who used petroleum jelly in the vagina increased their risk for bacterial vaginosis by 22%. Similarly, those who reported using oils, such as those found in your kitchen cupboard had a 32% increased risk for yeast infection.
Any other products containing petroleum jelly such as barrier creams should not be used as a sexual lubricant.
Are there oil based sexual lubricants that are safe to use?
Oil based lubricants give a great long-lasting, silky smooth experience. They are thick and creamy, and last longer during sex, but be aware that they are not safe to use with latex contraceptives. YES Oil Based Organic Lubricant is extremely skin nourishing as it is made with plant extracts, and using it with water based lubricant during sex play creates a luscious Double Glide affect.
Make sure to avoid products which contain petroleum jelly – only use natural plant products if you want to use oil based lubricants.