Baby oil is a useful product to help moisturize and soften skin. However, it is not a good idea to use it as a lubricant during sex.

Read on to find out if it is safe to use, why it is not a good option as a sexual lubricant and alternative products to use during intercourse.

bubble as oil used to illustrate baby oil which may be used as lubeShare on Pinterest
A person may experience adverse effects if they use baby oil as a lubricant during sex.

Baby oil is a petroleum-based mineral oil for keeping skin soft. Research highlights that applying it to a baby’s skin may be useful to reduce dryness.

An adult may use baby oil on their skin. Some research suggests that adding fragrance-free baby oil to a bath may have benefits for those with eczema.

However, using baby oil as a lubricant can cause possible adverse effects.

There are a number of reasons why using baby oil as lube is not a good idea. This includes the following:


Research has found that using baby oil as a lubricant may cause infection.

One study found associations between using baby oil as a lubricant and higher rates of rectal infection. This is similar to older studies that found females who use oils as a vaginal lubricant are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis.

Difficult to wash

Baby oil is water insoluble, meaning it may be difficult to remove after sex or masturbation. When removing baby oil from the skin, a person needs to scrub the area with soap and water. This may lead to possible irritation.

Condom damage

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the correct use of a male condom should not involve oil-based products, such as baby oil. Instead, the CDC recommend water- or silicone-based lubricants.

Using baby oil on a latex condom may damage the latex, which can cause the condom to break.

Older research suggests that condom breakage may occur from as little as 1 minute after exposure to mineral oils. This puts people at risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The same applies to female condoms made from latex. However, many female condoms are nitrile-based and are prelubricated with a silicone lubricant.

Baby oil is difficult to remove. If a person uses it for masturbation and then has sex afterward without washing, it may still cause the condom to degrade.

Contraceptive diaphragm damage

The diaphragm is a soft silicone cap that a person inserts into the vagina before sex to prevent pregnancy. Using baby oil during sex or masturbation may damage the diaphragm, putting a person at risk of pregnancy.


It is also advisable not to use baby oil as an oral sex lubricant. It will have an unpleasant taste and can be toxic if a person ingests large quantities.

Damage to sex toys

As baby oil is petroleum-based, it may cause damage to a person’s sex toys if they consist of latex, silicone, rubber, or plastic. Not only can this ruin the sex toy, but it may also result in injury.


People may also prefer to avoid using baby oil as a lubricant as it can stain clothing and bedding.

While baby oil stains may be difficult to remove, it is possible with products such as stain removers, detergents, and hot water. However, people may prefer to use lubricant alternatives that do not require thorough cleaning.

There are a number of lubricants available on the market that are specifically for intercourse and other intimate actions.

When purchasing a lubricant, a person may want to consider what they will use the lubricant for and their sexual preferences. This may include what sex acts they will perform, and if they will use sex toys.

People can consider one of the following types of lubricants:

  • Oil-based: These are safe to use during sex without barrier methods of contraception. However, as with baby-oil, these lubricants may damage latex condoms or sex toys. They may also increase the chance of infections and can stain fabrics.
  • Silicone-based: These types of lubricants are safe to use during sex. They do not cause damage to latex-based barrier methods of contraception. However, they may cause damage to silicone sex toys.
  • Water-based: Water-based lubricants do not react with latex condoms or sex toys. These types of lubricants may dry out, but a person can easily reapply, as necessary. Water-based lubricants are typically the safest options for both intercourse and masturbation.

People must not use baby oil as a lubricant. While it is safe to use on skin, people must avoid using it as a lubricant for sexual intercourse, especially with latex-based barrier methods.

Using baby oil as a lubricant may increase the risk of infections, STIs, and pregnancy. Instead, it is advisable for people to use lubricants specifically for intercourse. These may be oil, silicone, or water-based. However, people should still avoid using oil-based lubricants with latex products.