Can You Put Vaseline On Your Vagina Or Anus?

Generally, no — It is not a good idea to use Vaseline or petroleum jelly on or in your vagina, but you can use it on your anus in very specific situations.
Photograph Of Hand With A Dollop Of Vaseline On Fingertip Of Raised Index Finger
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It is not a good idea to use Vaseline or petroleum jelly on or in your vagina, but you can use vaseline on your anus in very specific situations.

Here’s why:

  • Vaseline and other petroleum jelly products contain mineral oil, which can increase your risk of vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections, particularly if you’re susceptible to them.
  • When it comes to sex, Vaseline and petroleum jelly products aren’t advisable as a result of the issues noted above and because the mineral oil it contains will degrade condoms in under 60 seconds, rendering them useless for preventing unintended pregnancies and STIs.
  • Vaseline can help to alleviate discomfort and itching from hemorrhoids and when used just inside or around the anus, can help make bowel movements easier during treatment for hemorrhoids, but it shouldn’t be inserted any further because it can irritate delicate rectal skin.

You might think using petroleum jelly on your vagina or anus is okay because it’s affordable, it’s generally safe for most skin, and it’s a staple product that most people have on hand at home.

The truth is that Vaseline and other petroleum jelly products shouldn’t be used on your vulva, inside your vagina, or inside your anus, for many reasons.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

Can You Use Vaseline On Your Private Parts?

For the most part, you really shouldn’t.

Petroleum jelly products, including Vaseline, create a barrier effect on the skin, which allows them to stay on it for long periods of time — but also makes them much more difficult to remove.

When Vaseline is applied to your genitals, it coats the skin in a way that protects it from external irritation but also seals everything beneath it, potentially creating an environment fit for bacteria or yeast to grow.

One study discovered that when women used petroleum jelly vaginally, they were twice as likely to be diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis.

Similarly, Vaseline can irritate the delicate skin of the rectum, making it more prone to infection if it’s applied internally, which is why it should NOT be used as anal lube.

As we’ll talk about in just a bit, it can be somewhat safe when used on the anus externally, in some situations.

Additionally, Vaseline contains mineral oil, which is a common ingredient found in many skincare products — including baby oil.

Although it’s non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog your pores, it can irritate any of the delicate skin found on your private parts.

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Can You Put Vaseline On Your Vulva Or In Your Vagina?

You really should not use Vaseline or petroleum jelly products on your vagina — for a few important reasons.

Vaseline contains mineral oil, and any oil you put on your vagina can heighten your risk of infection like bacterial vaginosis or yeast, particularly if you are susceptible to these.

The same risk is an important consideration for pregnant women, especially, because hormonal shifts can bring on those nasty yeast infections easily — and Vaseline will only make that worse.

Vaseline won’t clog pores so it can be used on most skin safely, but your vulva and vagina are considerably more sensitive than the skin on your arms or legs.

Even if you apply it to your vulva and don’t develop a reaction from it, you’re likely to irritate the skin when you wash it off — its thick consistency and barrier effect on the skin make it much more difficult to remove thoroughly without scrubbing yourself raw.

And if it’s inside of your vagina, it can be impossible to remove completely, leaving you open to developing an infection later on.

Can You Use Vaseline On Your Vulva (“Vagina”) After Shaving?

It really depends on where you intend to apply it.

Vaseline is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores — but it can irritate delicate vaginal and vulvar skin.

Although one wouldn’t shave their vagina — the vulva is the external private part where hair grows — the only area that may be safe to apply Vaseline is along your bikini line.

If you shave or remove the hair from your entire vulva, it’s best to seek a gentle and safer aftercare product, or even pure aloe vera gel if you have it on hand, to soothe any razor burn or irritation.

Can You Use Vaseline On Your Vulva For Masturbation?

No, it’s not a good idea.

Even though Vaseline is non-comedogenic, you should still be careful if you’re using it for external masturbation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

And if you’re masturbating with sex toys, Vaseline and petroleum jelly products can degrade those made from jelly rubber or latex.

When it comes to masturbation, you’re better off using a safe water-based lube.

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Can You Put Vaseline On Your Anus Or Rectum?

Sometimes — but not most of the time.

Petroleum jelly is often used for common skin ailments, irritation, or abrasions, and it can be safe for soothing hemorrhoids or anal itching due to its thick consistency and the barrier effect it has on the skin.

It can also be used to ease bowel movements during a bout of hemorrhoids but ONLY when applied to the external anus or just inside it — but don’t apply it any deeper than that.

That means you shouldn’t try to use it to soothe anal fissures — small tears inside the rectum that can cause big pain during bowel movements — because they’re located too far into the anal cavity.

Vaseline can irritate delicate rectal tissue, leaving it more open to infection caused by yeast or bacteria, which is why it should never be used deep inside the anus or as anal lube.

Additionally, if you’re using Vaseline as a sexual lubricant, you run the risk of condom breakage and STI transmission.

Mineral oil lube can degrade the strength of latex condoms by 90% in less than 60 seconds, making them essentially useless while leaving you vulnerable to STIs, including HIV.

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Can You Use Vaseline During Sex?

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t use Vaseline or other petroleum jelly products as personal lubricants.

They include:

  • The risk of infections: Petroleum jelly products and Vaseline can contribute to yeast infections when used vaginally, so they should never be used for vaginal sex.
  • The risk of irritation: The vulva, vagina, and anal canal have delicate, sensitive skin. Vaseline or other petroleum jelly products can easily irritate these areas, which can make you more prone to developing an infection.
  • The use of mineral oil as an ingredient: Vaseline contains mineral oil. Mineral oil breaks down latex condoms in under a minute, putting you at risk for STIs and unintended pregnancy when used as a lube during sex.
  • The danger associated with ingestion: Petroleum jelly can cause coughing or aspiration because of its thickness. This only applies to oral sex, of course, but there are much safer edible lube options to choose from.
  • The difficulty associated with its removal: Vaseline stains fabrics but it’s also hard to remove from the skin, too. Designed to create a barrier effect on the skin, it takes soap, water, and a bit of scrubbing to wash it off — and that can irritate any of the skin on your private parts.

You’re much better off using a lube that is body-safe and intended for sexual activity.

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Bottom Line:

Using Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your vagina or anus is not ideal in most situations because it can leave you susceptible to irritation and infection.

It may be safe to use a small amount of petroleum jelly on your anus to soothe hemorrhoids, but honestly, you’re probably better off sticking with body-safe products specifically designed for their treatment.

When it comes to putting anything on your vagina or anus, the best rule of thumb is: Reach only for products intended for your private parts.

And Vaseline isn’t one of them.

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