Q: Can lube damage condoms?
A: Oil-based lubricants should never be used in conjunction with latex or polyisoprene condoms.
These oils include (but are not limited to):
Vaseline (petroleum jelly), most hand and body lotions (including sunscreen), olive oil, coconut oil, Crisco (vegetable or animal shortening), butter (dairy or nut-based), whipped cream, some shampoos and conditioners, some soaps, shaving cream, vegetable oil, canola oil, mineral oil, cold creams, baby oil, lipstick, masturbation creams, massage oils, or anything with the word oil in it.
If you want a good demonstration of what happens when applying baby oil to a latex condom, take a look:
All jokes aside, it only took about sixty seconds with gentle friction for the condom to eat through the latex condom. Studies have found that the closer the condom is to its expiration date, the quicker that time is.
Now, the majority of lubes out there aren’t going to have oil in them anyway, so it's not something you have to be scared of while perusing the lube section of our website. They have other ingredients which mimic certain qualities of oil, but they will be safe to use with condoms. If not, with all Condom Depot products, the label says something like, "Not recommended for use with latex condoms!"
Polyisoprene is chemically very, very similar to latex. While it may not give those with latex allergies allergic reactions, it still reacts to lubes the same way that latex does. Which means that you can't use oil on polyisoprene condoms (like the Durex Real Feel and the LifeStyles SKYN) without risking breakage. Sorry!
Other Non-Latex Condoms
Nitrile condoms (like the FC2), lambskin condoms (like the Trojan NaturaLamb), and polyurethane condoms (like the Trojan BareSkin Non-Latex Supra) can be used with any type of lube. That doesn't mean that your body will react favorably-- just check out our article, "Good Idea/Bad Idea: Using Bathroom Items for Masturbation," if you want to learn about why shampoo doesn't make good lube! But it does mean that your condom won't degrade or break.
There is a HUGE misconception out there in the world of safer sex. It's one of the biggest condom myths that we have to combat. We see it reposted all the time on safe sex websites, especially on our Tumblr dashboard, and we’ve even heard it said in adult stores while on undercover, information gathering missions. So, we here at the Condom Depot Learning Center are just going to say it here, loud and proud, and make it in extra bold so that no one can mistake our meaning:
Silicone lube will NOT harm any condom.
Silicone is not an oil. Which means that it will not have any reaction with any condoms currently on the market, including latex and polyisoprene. In fact, many people find it to be far more comfortable and unobtrusive than many water-based lubes. It's hypoallergenic, it usually has very few ingredients, and it lasts for forever.
If silicone DID break down condoms, many of our favorite condoms would be in danger, like the Beyond Seven Sheerlon, the Crown Skinless Skin, and the entire LifeStyles and Caution Wear lines.
All of those condoms come with a silicone-based lube! As do all the wonderful condoms mentioned in our article, "Our Top Ten Silicone-Lubricated Condoms."
- What's in My Lube?
- What is Condom Stealthing?
- Q: Can Condoms Break in Extreme Temperatures?
- Why Do Condoms Break?
- Q: Will the Condom Slip Off if I Add Lube?
- Q: Can Condoms Expire?
- Why Do Condoms Break?
- Q: A Condom Broke, What Do I Do?
- Q: Are Thinner Condoms More Likely to Break?
- Q: Can I use spermicide condoms more than once a day?
- Q: Condom is too long, but it's the right girth? Is that OK?
- Q: Is my condom too big or too small?
- Q: Is Period Sex Safe?
- Alright, What's Really The World's Thinnest Condom?
Ask A Condom Expert
Still need help? Let one of our condom and safer sex experts help you out! We have been the "friend in the business" for nearly 20 years to hundreds of thousands of customers.