Can You Use Aquaphor As Lube, Or For Anal Sex?

Aquaphor Is NEVER a good choice to use as a lube for vaginal, anal, or oral sex for many reasons.
Photograph Of Aquaphor Container On White Table Top With Bedding In The Out Of Focus Background
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Updated:July 2023

Aquaphor is NOT considered a safe lube alternative for vaginal or anal sex and it should never be used for oral sex.

Here’s why:

  • Aquaphor is primarily made from petrolatum (like Vaseline) and mineral oil, which means it can lead to irritation, breakouts, or even infection on your vulva, vagina, or anus when used as lube.
  • Aquaphor’s main ingredients (petrolatum and mineral oil) can also increase your risk of yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, especially if you’re already prone to either.
  • Aquaphor is oil-based and breaks down latex and polyisoprene condoms and diaphragms, putting you or your partner at risk for unintended pregnancy or STIs.
  • Although it should never be used for oral sex because it’s inedible and poses a choking hazard, Aquaphor will also break down dental dams made from latex, rendering them ineffective.
  • Aquaphor is difficult to clean up and the oil can stain your clothes and sheets.

Aquaphor isn’t a good lube for any type of sex for many reasons.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Lube Alternatives and Everything Lube hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of personal lubricants from the different types and how to use them, to ingredients and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

Things To Know
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using Aquaphor as a personal lubricant, including:

Can You Use Aquaphor As Lube?


It may be a “healing ointment” that’s great for your skin, but it should not be used as a personal lubricant.

There are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t grab the Aquaphor when rummaging for a handy lube alternative in your bathroom cabinet.

Here’s everything you need to know about using Aquaphor as lube:

  • Similar to Vaseline, Aquaphor is made from petrolatum and mineral oil and can lead to breakouts, irritation, or infection when used as a genital or anal lube.
  • The petrolatum and mineral oil in Aquaphor can also increase your risk of yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis if you’re prone to them.
  • Aquaphor is oil-based and breaks down latex and polyisoprene condoms and diaphragms, putting you or your partner at risk for unintended pregnancy or STIs. Mineral oil, one of Aquaphor’s main ingredients, can degrade latex condoms by 90% in under a minute.
  • Aquaphor will also break down dental dams made from latex, although it should never be used as a lube for oral sex. Additionally, the mineral oil in Aquaphor, similar to baby oil, is a hydrocarbon that can pose a danger to your lungs if inhaled.
  • Aquaphor is difficult to remove from the skin, particularly when it’s inside the vagina or anus, and the oil can stain your clothes and sheets.

Oil-based lube (of any kind) cannot be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms, dental dams, or diaphragms because the oil degrades their material.

Aquaphor contains mineral oil, which can degrade the strength of the latex in a condom by 90% in less than a minute!

It can also degrade your sex toys if they’re made from latex or jelly rubber, as well.

Although it’s inedible, the thick consistency of Aquaphor also makes it a choking hazard if used as a lubricant during oral sex.

Additionally, mineral oil is a hydrocarbon that can damage your lungs if inhaled.

Aquaphor as a personal lubricant for vaginal sex can increase your risk of developing an infection — such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis — especially if you’re prone to them.

Additionally, Aquaphor is meant to create a barrier that protects the skin when used as directed (just like Neosporin), which means it’s difficult to remove from the skin after using it as lube, particularly vaginal or anal penetration.

It’s best to keep the Aquaphor on the shelf — there are many safer lubricants to choose from.

Can You Use Aquaphor As Vaginal Lube?

No — Aquaphor should never be used as vaginal lube.

Because Aquaphor stays on your skin longer than something made to be used as a lubricant, it can clog the pores on and around your vulva, leading to itching, rash, breakouts, and even a bad infection.

Additionally, using Aquaphor as vaginal lube can put you at a higher risk for yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV).

One study found that women were 2.2 times more likely to contract bacterial vaginosis when using petroleum jelly (similar to Aquaphor) on their vaginas.

As we mentioned earlier, the main ingredients in Aquaphor — petrolatum and mineral oil — degrade condoms and diaphragms made from latex or polyisoprene, rendering them ineffective against STIs or unintended pregnancy.

Aquaphor is also difficult to clean off your skin and even more difficult to remove from your vagina.

Any way you look at it, Aquaphor is not a viable lube alternative for vaginal sex.

Can You Use Aquaphor As Anal Lube?


Aquaphor’s thick texture makes it a very tempting option for anal sex or pegging but it is not a safe choice for many of the same reasons mentioned above.

A study found that the use of petroleum jelly (the first ingredient in Aquaphor) can increase your chances of transmitting HIV to your partner.

Plus, if you’re using latex or polyisoprene condoms, the Aquaphor will degrade them, putting you or your partner at risk not just for HIV, but for other STIs as well.

Much like in vaginal intercourse, Aquaphor can clog the pores around and in your anus, leaving you open to irritation and infection.

There are lots of better anal lube options out there, and there are plenty of anal lube alternatives that are much safer than Aquaphor.

What Is Aquaphor Made From And Is It Safe?

Aquaphor is a healing ointment similar to Vaseline that’s used in the treatment of dry skin or minor wounds.

Aquaphor creates a barrier to seal in the skin’s natural moisture and encourages the healing process, and it’s completely safe — when used as directed.

As the first ingredient, petroleum jelly accounts for 41% of Aquaphor’s ingredient content.

However, what separates it from Vaseline and other petroleum products is added ingredients that include mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, ​​panthenol, glycerin, and bisabolol — in that order.

All of those ingredients are beneficial to the skin when used topically.

Aquaphor has no added fragrance or dyes and is perfectly safe to use as directed, however, it is not approved for use as lube.

The skin on your arms and legs is quite different (and far less sensitive) than the skin on your genitals or anus.

What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Aquaphor?

Instead of Aquaphor, we suggest using a professionally formulated personal lubricant that is body-safe and made from quality ingredients.

There are lots of personal lubricant options available, such as:

Here’s a cheat sheet for selecting the best lube based on how you intend to use it:

Lube Type:
Oral Sex Yes Yes Not usually
Vaginal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Anal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Condom Types All All Polyurethane, nitrile and lambskin only
Sex Toy Types All All but silicone All but latex
Bath/Shower Use No Yes Yes
Does It Stain? No Yes Yes
Lube Type:
Oral Sex
Vaginal Sex
Anal Sex
Condom Types
Sex Toy Types
Bath/Shower Use
Does It Stain?

There is a personal lubricant for every preference and individual situation, so if you’re not sure which is right for you, read through our in-depth lube guide or take our helpful lube quiz to find your perfect match.

Let’s explore the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lubricants are some of the most popular lubes available because they mimic your body’s natural lubrication.

Plus, they’re water-soluble, making them super easy to clean up.

Not to mention, water-based lube is safe to use with any type of condom, dental dam, or diaphragm, so you never have to worry about compatibility.

If you’re looking for something long-lasting, water-based lube may not be the best choice although it can be revitalized by adding a little water during a longer session.

However, being water-soluble means it will rinse away if you’re trying to use it in the tub or shower.

If you’d like to learn more about water-based lubes, we researched and reviewed the safest and best water-based personal lubricants to help you find the perfect one.

  • Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are longer lasting than water-based lubes and are also safe to use with condoms, dental dams, and diaphragms.

When it comes to deciding between water-based and silicone-based lubes, your choice will depend on how you’re planning to use them.

Silicone-based lubes are thicker and have a silky smooth consistency.

Many people prefer the texture of silicone lubricant, however, it is noticeably different compared to the lubrication your body naturally makes.

Silicone’s thicker, cushiony consistency makes it a favorite for anal sex and it’s a top choice for sex in water since it won’t rinse away easily.

That said, silicone lube cannot be used with silicone sex toys, as they’ll degrade their material.

Our review of the best silicone-based personal lubes explores all of our hand-picked recommendations of the safest products available right now.

  • Oil-Based Lubricants

An oil-based lubricant is made from natural (and sometimes even organic) oils that are body-safe for vaginal and anal sex.

If you have allergies, make sure to watch out for products that include nut-based oil ingredients or other common allergens.

Oil-based lube’s thick texture, similar to silicone in many ways, makes it a great choice for anal sex.

As we mentioned before, oil-based lubricants are not compatible with latex or polyisoprene condoms or dental dams.

Equally unsafe for latex dental dams, oil-based lubes generally shouldn’t be ingested or used during oral sex.

If you’re interested in learning more about them, we researched and found the best oil-based personal lubricants.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural and organic personal lubricants may be water-based or oil-based, depending on the product, offering a wide selection to choose from based on your needs and preferences.

Many products are made using ingredients that may be allergens, including nut-based oils or aloe, so always read the label thoroughly.

Through our independent research, we found the best and safest natural and organic lubricants that are available right now.

Are There Any Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re in a pinch and you need a safe lube alternative that can be found in your home right now, there are a few options worth exploring:

Although the above lube alternatives are generally safe in many circumstances, oil-based lube alternatives should never be used with latex or polyisoprene barriers against STIs or pregnancy.

It’s also smart to do a patch test on a small area of skin of any potential lube alternative to make sure you won’t experience a reaction, such as a rash, itching, burning, stinging, or hives.

Our Top Lube Recommendations

After researching hundreds of personal lubricants — and personally testing dozens of them ourselves — we have found the very best lubes of each type, vetted by our team and recommended for their safety and performance.

Editor's Note: When you purchase a product via an affiliate link (*) on our site, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

Bottom Line:

When you’re scrambling for a quick, at-home lube alternative, Aquaphor can look like a good choice.

It isn’t.

Luckily, there are lots of better lube alternatives and store-bought lubes to pick from.

If you don’t know what you need, make sure to read through our personal lube guide or take our helpful lube quiz!

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