Can You Use Shaving Cream As Lube, Or For Anal Sex?

Ths simple answer is NO — it is not safe to use shaving cream, shaving gels, or even shaving soaps and lotions as a personal lubricant for many reasons.
Photograph Of Shaving Cream Bottle On White Tabletop With Bedding In Distant Background
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Updated:February 2024

No matter how tempted (or horny) you are, don’t use shaving cream, shaving gels, or even shaving soaps and lotions as a personal lubricant.

Here’s why:

  • Shaving cream, gel, soap, or lotion is not made for internal use — and that includes vaginal or anal penetration. Additionally, they’re not meant to be ingested and are entirely unsafe for use during oral sex, as they can cause throat irritation, stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Although shaving formulas are made with skin conditioners and other ingredients that are designed to be gentle on your face, underarms, or legs, these ingredients can be irritating to the vulva, penis, or anus — even if used externally. Such irritation could lead to reddened skin, itchiness, or rash, which can put you at risk of developing an infection in those areas.
  • Similarly, added fragrances used in shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions can be another source of irritation that may lead to an infection.
  • Like soaps, shaving products can disrupt vaginal pH, leading to irritation or inflammation (vulvitis).
  • Although some shaving products may be designed for the “bikini area” and intimate grooming — the amount of time they spend on your skin while shaving is short and therefore less likely to lead to irritation during appropriate use. When used as a lubricant, however, their extended contact with delicate genital skin can increase your risk of irritation, making them an unsafe choice as well.
  • Shaving products that contain oils may degrade latex or polyisoprene condoms, as well as latex diaphragms, increasing your risk of STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

Regardless of the shaving formula you prefer — foam, gel, bar soap, or lotion — it should not be used as a lubricant for masturbation or sex.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using shaving cream as a personal lubricant, including:

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.

Can You Use Shaving Cream As Lube?


Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, and grabbing shaving cream to lube up for sex is one of those times.

You should not use:

  • Shaving cream as lube
  • Shaving gel as lube
  • Shaving soap as lube
  • Shaving lotion as lube

Yes, shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions are formulated for the skin and safe to use on your face or legs.

But that doesn’t mean it’s safe for the most sensitive parts of your body – your vagina or butt.

Here’s what you need to know about using shaving cream as lube:

  • Shaving cream isn’t designed for internal use of any kind — it is meant to be used externally on the skin. Although some products may be designed for “intimate grooming” around the bikini area, they can be irritating if left on genital skin for any length beyond a normal amount of time spent shaving.
  • Likewise, shaving products are NOT meant to be ingested, and should not be used for oral sex of any kind. It’s not highly poisonous but can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and throat irritation.
  • Shaving formulas include surfactants, skin conditioners, and additional ingredients that are gentle on your face, underarms, or legs, but these may be irritating to genital skin, leading to rash, itchiness, or infection.
  • Shaving foams, gels, soaps, or lotions may include added fragrances that can be an additional source of irritation that may lead to an infection.
  • Like soaps, shaving creams can disturb your body’s natural pH and lead to inflammation of the vulva (vulvitis) or urethra (urethritis), even if used for external masturbation of the vulva or penis.
  • Natural shaving formulas that include oils can break down condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, along with latex diaphragms, putting you and your partner at risk for STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

Shaving creams are a lot like soaps, that use various surfactants and fragrances in their formulas that can be gentle enough to use on most skin — aside from genitals.

Surfactants can lead to skin irritation, however, and that risk is further increased when they’re applied to the vulva, penis, or anus.

Even shaving products that are designed for intimate areas should be avoided as a lube alternative.

Shave cream for intimate areas can be “safe” enough when used as directed — meaning, it only has contact with your skin for as long as it takes you to shave.

The duration of exposure when used as a personal lubricant, however, is much longer and increases the risk of experiencing irritation, rash, and possible infection.

Shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions can also disturb your body’s natural pH, leading to irritation and vulva inflammation (vulvitis) or penile irritation.

If the formula makes its way inside the urethra, it may cause urethritis (irritation and infection of the urethra) as well.

No shaving cream is meant to be used internally, so it isn’t safe for vaginal or anal penetration of any kind.

Additionally, shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions are NOT edible and should never be used for oral sex.

They aren’t highly poisonous, but they can cause throat irritation, stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea if swallowed.

Finally, some shaving formulas may be made from oils, which can degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, along with latex diaphragms.

But again, shaving creams, gels, soaps, and lotions should never be used for vaginal or anal penetration of any kind.

Our best advice is to stick with safe lube alternatives or choose a body-safe personal lubricant.

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Can You Use Shaving Cream As A Vaginal Lube?

No, you should not use shaving creams (or gels, soaps, and lotions) as a vaginal lubricant.

The mucous membranes in your vagina are thin and need gentle care and handling.

They’re sensitive to surfactants, fragrances, and other chemical additives often found in shaving formulas.

When you use shaving cream as lube for vaginal sex, you’re introducing something “spicy” and practically guaranteeing yourself redness, irritation, and stinging — all of which can leave you open to infection.

Additionally, inflammation of the vulva — also known as vulvitis — can occur even if you’re only using shaving cream as an external lubricant for masturbation.

The other problem with shaving cream is that it will seriously throw off your vagina’s pH balance.

A happy vagina has a pH of about 3.8 to 4.5. Some shaving creams have a pH that’s twice as high — or more.

Throw off the pH of your vagina, and you’ll have a lot of other problems to deal with:

  • Discomfort
  • Infection
  • New vaginal discharge (outside of normal discharge)
  • A funky, unnatural smell
  • Itching or burning sensations

Shaving cream is not meant to be used internally — in any situation — but that’s doubly true for vaginal penetration.

As we mentioned earlier, some shaving formulas may be gentle enough for intimate grooming, but only when used as directed.

Their limited contact during shaving can be safe enough around the genital area, but extended use as a lubricant can lead to major irritation.

Additionally, some shaving products contain oils, which can degrade latex or polyisoprene condoms and latex diaphragms, increasing your risk of unintended pregnancy or STI transmission when used as lube.

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Can You Use Shaving Cream As Anal Lube?

No, you should not use shaving formulas of any kind as an anal lubricant.

While the pH of the anus is closer to that of some shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions, it is still a delicate area, thanks to those mucous membranes.

Instead of the sexy, fun time you’re hoping for, you might need to jump into the shower and frantically wash the shaving cream away.

Surfactants, fragrances, and other added ingredients commonly used in shaving creams can lead to irritation, redness, itching, and burning.

That is no fun — especially around the anus.

If your anal sex always includes latex or polyisoprene condoms, shaving cream, gel, soap, or lotion can degrade them if oils are part of the formulation, putting you and your partner at risk for STI transmission.

Trust us when we say there are much safer anal lube alternatives — and better store-bought anal lubricants to choose from.

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What Is Shaving Cream Made From And Is It Safe?

Shaving creams are formulated in similar ways regardless of whether they’re creams, gels, foams, or even lotions.

In general, they’re considered safe when used as directed on the skin — most often the face, chest, underarms, and legs.

Some people may be allergic to certain ingredients or have sensitivities that may lead to redness or irritation — even when used as intended for shaving.

Although formulas vary widely between products, shaving creams are typically made using the following materials:

  • Surfactants such as stearic acid, palmitic acid, or other fatty acids
  • Humectants and conditioning ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, glycerin, guar gum, and others
  • Thickeners and wetting agents, which may include triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Solvents and degreasers like isopentane that reduce oil on the skin while also making hair stand up (for easier shaving)
  • Fragrances
  • Oils (in some products; potential allergens if they are nut-based)
  • Aloe vera (in some products; potential allergen for those with a latex allergy)
  • Preservatives
  • Colorants (in some cases — the “clean” blue tint is often the result of Blue #1)
  • Lubricants like polyethylene glycol
  • Propellants such as isobutane (in the case of canned foams)

Most of these ingredients should not come into contact with genital or anal skin as they can lead to irritation, inflammation, or infection in those delicate areas.

The only exceptions are lanolin, guar gum, aloe vera, certain body-safe oils you’re not sensitive or allergic to, and polyethylene glycol — which is found in many personal lubricants.

It’s important to remember that the formulation of shaving cream is deemed safe for “typical use” — such as shaving your face, legs, or other parts of the body that aren’t your genitals.

Additionally, no shaving creams, gels, soaps, or lotions are safe for internal use so they should not be used for penetration of the vagina or anus.

As we mentioned earlier, such products are not meant to be ingested — ever — so they shouldn’t be used for oral sex, either.

Instead, choose a safe lube alternative or body-safe personal lubricant.

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What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Shaving Cream?

Instead of shaving cream, we highly suggest using a store-bought personal lubricant that is made for your genitals and your butt.

Better personal lubricant options include:

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 designed for every situation, so if you’re not sure which to choose, you can read through our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find your perfect match.

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!

We’ll take a quick look at the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lubes are the safest and easiest to use because they are water-soluble — making them easy to clean up.

These tend to have a texture similar to the natural lube produced by your body, which makes them incredibly popular.

You can safely use water-based lube with all condoms, dental dams, and diaphragms without worrying about damage.

For those longer sexy sessions, you’ll likely need to reapply water-based lubricant because it can dry out a bit.

Thankfully it can be re-activated with a small amount of water, although it can’t be used for shower or bathtub sex as it will be washed away completely.

We researched and reviewed the safest and best water-based personal lubricants so you can find the product that best suits your needs.

  • Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are also safe for all types of condoms, but they have the added bonus of lasting much longer than their water-based counterparts.

Deciding between water-based and silicone-based lubes ultimately depends on how you plan to use them.

You get a thicker consistency and silkier texture with silicone personal lubricants that are noticeably different from the natural lubrication produced by your body.

Silicone lubes are a great choice for anal play thanks to their heavier, silky smooth texture.

On the upside, silicone lubes won’t easily wash away in water so you can use them for shower sex.

On the downside, silicone lubes and silicone sex toys can’t be used together because of the potential damage to your toy.

We offer several hand-picked recommendations of the safest products to explore in our review of the best silicone-based personal lubes.

  • Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubes made from natural (and sometimes organic) oils are typically the most body-safe option for vaginal and anal sex.

If you have nut allergies, you need to be aware that some products include nut-based oil ingredients, so always read the label before you use them.

Oil-based personal lubricants are another great choice for anal sex as long as you don’t use latex or polyisoprene condoms, or latex diaphragms.

They are also not compatible with dental dams, although it’s important to know that oil-based lubes shouldn’t be ingested or used during oral sex, in general, because they can present a choking hazard.

If you’re interested in using this type of lube, we researched and found the best oil-based personal lubricants to help you find the best one for your sexy fun.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

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

Like other oil-based lubes, natural and organic products made using nut-based oils should be avoided by those who have allergies to such ingredients.

Through our own deep research, we found the best and safest natural and organic lubricants that are available.

Are There Any Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you find yourself in a sex emergency with no lubricant, there are some safe lube alternatives that you may already have at home, including:

If you’re using an oil-based lube alternative, make sure not to use it with latex or polyisoprene barriers for STI or pregnancy prevention, as it will degrade the material and render them ineffective.

Additionally, it’s smart to do a patch test on your skin — such as your inner elbow — just to watch for an allergic reaction on your genitals.

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Bottom Line: 

No matter how desperately horny you feel, never use shaving cream, gel, soap, or lotion as lube.

The potential pain and the problems it can cause to your most sensitive areas aren’t worth a few minutes of sexual bliss — alone or with a partner.

Find an alternative that’s safer and won’t turn your genitals or butt into a flaming, irritated mess.

Even better, find a personal lubricant that’s formulated to be safe and buy that instead.

All Things Lube