4 Reasons to Avoid Lotion as Lube (+ Safer Options)

Lotions and moisturizers are versatile skincare products known for their smooth, velvety consistency.

So if you’re about to get it on, but your favorite personal lubricant is empty, lotion may seem like the next best thing.

But can you use lotion as lube?

Keep reading to discover why it can cause more harm than good.

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    Can You Use Lotion as Lube? 

    Lotion is NOT a safe lube alternative. 

    While lotions and moisturizers hydrate your skin, their ingredients (alcohol, fragrances, preservatives) don’t play well with the sensitive genital area.  

    Using lotions for any sexual activity — whether vaginal, anal, or masturbation — can lead to allergic reactions, an imbalance in vaginal flora, condom breakage, and other problems. 

    What Are the Risks of Using Lotion as Lube?

    Here's the lowdown on why you should keep that bottle of lotion or moisturizer far away from your intimate adventures:

    1. Irritates the Vulva and Anus 

    The skin around the vulva and anus is extremely sensitive. 

    And lotions generally contain artificial additives, so applying them to your vulva or anus can cause irritation or allergic reactions. This can lead to discomfort, redness, itching, or a burning sensation.  

    2. Breaks Down Condoms 

    Lotions can contain oils or petroleum-based ingredients that weaken latex or polyisoprene condoms, increasing the risk of condom breakage or failure. Eek! 

    This increases the chances of unwanted pregnancies or contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  

    3. Disrupts the Natural pH Balance of the Vagina and Rectum

    Lotions can disrupt the delicate pH levels, potentially leading to an imbalance in the vaginal flora or irritation in the anal area.

    What happens when you disrupt your natural pH level? 

    Bacteria multiply, resulting in an overgrowth that can lead to nasty irritation or infections like bacterial vaginosis.

    4. Hard to Clean Up 

    A lotion may leave residues that don’t wash away easily, especially if it contains oils. 

    So you may need to rub the skin excessively post-sexy times, which can cause dryness and irritation. Moreover, any leftover residue can lead to infections.  

    Read More: Discover the ultimate guide to The Best Lube & Condom Pairings.

    What Lubricants Can You Safely Use For Sex?

    Using a suitable sexual lubricant ensures excellent sexual health and healthy vaginal flora.

    There are three main types of commercial lubricants available for masturbation and vaginal or anal sex:

    1. Water-Based Lubricant 

    Discover the ultimate crowd-pleaser: A water-based lubricant. It closely mimics your body's natural lubrication and doubles as a hydrating vaginal moisturizer.

    Here’s why we love a water-based lubricant:

    • Water-based lubes are non-irritating, making them ideal for sensitive skin.
    • They don’t disrupt your genital pH.
    • You can use this lube with any condom or sex toy, including silicone sex toys.
    • With effortless cleanup, you can say goodbye to stained sheets! 

    As wonderful as water-based lubes are, they can dry out quicker than oil or silicone-based ones, so be ready to reapply as needed!

    For a delightful, natural-feeling lube that keeps your intimate bits happy, give Coconu's Water-Based Lubricant a try. It's packed with organic coconut water, preserving your vagina's natural pH balance and ensuring a smooth experience.

    And here's the icing on the cake — it serves as both lube and vaginal moisturizer, making it ideal for tackling vaginal dryness


    2. Oil-Based Lubricant 

    An oil-based lube has a thicker consistency, blending various plant-based oils for a luxurious time in bed. 

    Here’s why we love an oil-based lubricant:

    • It doesn’t require frequent reapplication, making it perfect for long romps.
    • An oil-based lube doubles up as a sensual massage oil.
    • It’s ideal for wet and wild shower sex

    Explore Coconu’s Oil-Based Lubricant, perfect for extended pleasure. This lube features USDA-certified organic coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, and more. 

    Even better? 

    It’s completely edible, cruelty-free, and hypoallergenic, ensuring a safe and enjoyable sexual experience.

    3. Silicone-Based Lubricant

    Silicone lube can be your go-to for marathon sessions and won't mess with your allergies.

    Here’s why we love a silicone-based lubricant:

    • It's long-lasting and won't wash off easily, making it ideal for extended play and steamy shower sex.
    • You can use it for both vaginal sex and anal sex.
    • Silicone lube plays well with all condom types and any sex toy except silicone sex toys.

    The downsides?

    Silicone lubes usually cost way more than water-based or oil-based lubes. 

    Avoid pairing them with silicone sex toys, as the lube can damage your toy. They can also stain your sheets and be tough to wash off. 

    (Psst… Consider having a dedicated play towel

    handy for your intimate moments.)

    6 Safe Natural Lube Alternatives You Can Use

    While your fave body lotion might not do the trick in the bedroom, these natural sexual lubricant alternatives can work for those last-minute moments. 

    However, we still recommend using commercial lubes like Coconu for the safest experience.

    • Pure Aloe Vera: Aloe vera can reduce skin irritation and improve hydration. Just ensure you’re using one that contains no additional ingredients like alcohol.

    • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Extra virgin or unrefined coconut oil has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties and is generally safe to use as a sex lube.


    • Olive Oil: Virgin olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil, is another safe alternative. However, be careful when using olive oil with latex condoms, as it severely degrades the performance of the condom.

    • Raw Shea Butter: Raw shea butter is an ideal lube alternative. It can leave your skin feeling softer and smoother since it's a common skincare ingredient.
    • Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E oil is a safe choice to treat vaginal dryness, taking care of your delicate skin. Plus, if you're up for it, it can double as an anal lube, as long as you're okay with its texture! 

    • Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet almond oil moisturizes and soothes sensitive skin. It's safe to eat and an excellent pick for oral and anal sex. Just remember, it's not compatible with latex condoms.
    Read More: Oral sex and edible flavored lube are a match made in heaven. Explore 10 of the Best Oral Sex Lubes.

    Other Products You Should Avoid Using as a Sexual Lubricant 

    Aside from body lotion, steer clear of the following products:

    • Petroleum Jelly: Brands like Vaseline can cause irritation and a nasty vaginal infection. Only use petroleum jelly for external use.

    • Baby Oil: While baby oil makes for excellent massage oil, steer clear from using it as lube. Baby oil is petroleum-based and can compromise the effectiveness of a latex condom. This can lead to infections or pregnancy scares.

    • Butter: Avoid butter as lube as it alters the vagina's pH balance and promotes bacterial growth. 
    • Soaps: Many soaps contain parabens, glycerin, and fragrances that harm your delicate areas and can cause a vaginal infection. 

    • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil and other refined cooking oils contain many chemicals, making them very harmful for use as lube.

    • Shampoo: Shampoo contains cleansing agents and surfactants (detergents) that, while great for stripping dirt and oil away from your hair, can easily irritate genital and anal skin.

    • Anything Containing Sugar: Sugary items like honey and whipped cream can seriously affect your vagina’s health and lead to a yeast infection.   

    Upgrade Your Lube Game with a Safe Choice!  

    Lotion as a lube substitute is a no-no. It contains ingredients that don’t work well with your delicate bits and could lead to terrible infections. Yikes!

    Instead, opt for a store-bought lube designed to protect sensitive areas while amping up pleasure. 

    Want the ultimate combination?

    Indulge in the Coconu Combo Pack for toe-curling sessions with both our water-based and oil-based lubes.