Due to vitamin E's reputation as a soothing balm, you might think its ability to heal chapped lips is a given. Not necessarily. Vitamin E is a vital nutrient with equally vital properties that helps keep your body functioning properly, but no proof says it is a miracle cure for chapped lips.
Beauty Tip Theory
Applying vitamin E to your chapped lips can soothe, relieve and take away the chapping, according to "Reader's Digest." Simply break open a capsule and apply the oil to your lips. While no evidence exists that applying the oil from a vitamin E capsule to your lips is harmful, there is also no evidence proving this home remedy is helpful. Vitamin E is often a component in lip balms and moisturizing lotions, further purporting the beauty tip theory that it soothes and heals dry skin.
Even without scientific evidence specifically backing up vitamin E as a topical chapped lip remedy, it may have at least one quality that makes such a use viable. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying lip balm containing sunscreen as a preventative measure against chapped lips. Vitamin E may act as a sunscreen, although Women Fitness notes the protection factor is only about SPF 3 and Encyclopedia.com reports the sunscreen properties are only effective if you take vitamin E as a supplement along with vitamin C.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your body by protecting the fatty acids in its cells and membranes. Antioxidants are substances that help stave off oxidation in fatty acids, especially oxidation brought about by free radicals, unstable molecules that accelerate the deterioration of cells and the aging process. Your body creates free radicals when it breaks down food, and they can also come from environmental exposures, such as radiation and smoking. Women Fitness notes the people who embrace vitamin E as a topical treatment say the antioxidant effects work internally and externally, the latter of which would apply to chapped lips.
If you want to try vitamin E for chapped lips or dry skin, you can apply the oil from the capsule directly on the affected area or seek out a lip balm or skin care product that contains vitamin E. Vitamin E supplements are also widely available, with the recommended daily dose of vitamin E set at 10 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Pregnant and lactating women require a higher daily dose of the vitamin, at 10 mg and 12 mg, respectively. Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin E include wheat germ, peanuts, soybeans, olive oil, grapes, broccoli, peaches, Brussels sprouts, eggs, blackberries and tomatoes.