Can You Use Vitamin E Oil As Lube, Or For Anal Sex?

Pure vitamin E oil can be used as lube vaginally or anally, and it is generally safe, but comes with a few caveats.
Photograph Of Vitamin E Oil Bottle On White Tabletop With Bedding In The Distant Background
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Updated:July 2023

Yes, you can use vitamin E oil as lube — and it is safe — but it should still be used with a little caution.

Here’s why:

  • Like all oils, vitamin E oil will break down condoms made from polyisoprene and latex, which can leave you or your partner susceptible to STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Similarly, it can degrade latex diaphragms used for pregnancy prevention, rendering them ineffective.
  • Purity is an issue that can affect the safety of vitamin E oil as a lube. Beyond the potential use of additives (including other oils that may be less than safe as lube, or fragrances), some vitamin E oil is synthetic — meaning it was created in a lab — rather than being naturally sourced.
  • If you’re prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, vitamin E oil (or any oil-based lube, for that matter) can cause such infections.
  • Although there is a low risk for allergic contact dermatitis (skin reaction) to vitamin E oil, it can cause itching, rash, burning, and irritation in those sensitive to it. For this reason, it’s a good idea to do a patch test elsewhere on your skin before applying it to your genitals.

It’s important to note that vitamin E oil is not the same as vitamin E supplements; the former is applied directly to the skin (such as in the form of massage oil) while the latter is ingested, most often in capsule form.

Concentrations differ between manufacturers, of course, and some people will open vitamin E capsules and apply the oil right on their skin.

If you’re thinking about using vitamin E oil as lube, you’ll want to read on to make sure it’s the best option for you.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using vitamin E oil as a personal lubricant, including:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Lube Alternatives and Everything Lube hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of personal lubricants from the different types and how to use them, to ingredients and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

Can You Use Vitamin E Oil As Lube?

Yes, you can use vitamin E oil as lube safely, or as part of a homemade DIY lubricant recipe, but you’ll want to use caution for a few reasons.

Here’s what you need to know about using vitamin E oil as a lube:

  • It is not FDA regulated so purity is a potential concern
  • It will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, along with latex diaphragms and dental dams
  • It carries a low risk of skin reaction (allergic contact dermatitis)
  • It could lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis in those prone to either
  • It can degrade sex toys made from latex or jelly rubber
  • It will likely stain fabrics

Vitamin E oil is a supplement and as such, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate it.

What this means is that the oil might be pure — or it may contain additional oils or additives that diminish its safety as a personal lubricant.

As we brought up before, oil-based lubes, including vitamin E oil, will break down condoms made from latex or polyisoprene as well as latex diaphragms and dental dams, which can increase the possibility of unintended pregnancy or STIs.

You can use vitamin E oil with condoms made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, although the latter does not offer protection against STIs.

Vitamin E oil is non-comedogenic — meaning it won’t clog your pores — but there is a low risk of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), more commonly known as an allergic skin reaction.

This may include itching, burning, rash, hives, or even swelling of the skin.

If you’re not sure about allergies or sensitivities you may have, it’s a good idea to apply a little vitamin E oil to your inner elbow and monitor the area for signs of irritation before using it as a lube or massage oil.

Just as with other oil-based lubes, vitamin E oil may increase your risk of developing an infection like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections if you’re prone to either of these.

You can masturbate safely with vitamin E oil as long as you don’t have skin allergies or sensitivities.

Additionally, it is safe for ingestion so it can be used as an edible lube during oral sex.

Being an oil, vitamin E can degrade the material of latex or jelly rubber sex toys, so it should not be used with either.

Finally, as with all oils, vitamin E can stain fabrics — so if you use it as a lube, you’ll want to keep it away from your finest sheets.

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Can You Use Vitamin E Oil As Vaginal Lube?

Yes, you can, but keep in mind any skin sensitivities you may have — or those you’re unsure about.

As we mentioned earlier, there’s a low risk for a skin reaction to vitamin E oil — but that risk is not zero. It’s best to do a patch test of the oil elsewhere on your skin to watch for signs of an allergic reaction before using it as a lube.

Per The National Library of Medicine, vitamin E is effective for vaginal atrophy and estrogen stability in menopausal women.

This means it really helps with vaginal dryness — which can be great if this is something you struggle with.

There is a chance that vitamin E oil could throw off your vaginal pH balance, increasing your risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections, especially if you’re prone to them.

Caution should be applied during pregnancy, as well, because hormonal shifts may increase your odds of developing a yeast infection. You’re safer sticking with a quality water-based lube.

As we mentioned earlier, vitamin E oil — like other oils — will degrade condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, potentially leading to STI transmission or unintended pregnancy.

Likewise, it can degrade latex diaphragms used for pregnancy prevention, as well.

Vitamin E oil will also degrade sex toys made from latex or jelly rubber.

Being an oil, vitamin E will stain fabrics and may be harder to remove from the skin after use, particularly from inside the vagina.

As we mentioned earlier, vitamin E oil is often used for treating vaginal dryness so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — but if you’re prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, it’s probably best avoided.

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Can You Use Vitamin E Oil As Anal Lube?

Yes, just be careful if you have skin sensitivities.

As with vaginal use, vitamin E oil has similar risks of skin infection or irritation when used as a lubricant during anal sex.

Remember, oil-based lubricants lead to condom breakage.

Vitamin E oil will break down latex or polyisoprene condoms, which can put you at risk for STI transmission between partners.

Lambskin, polyurethane, and nitrile condoms are oil-safe, although lambskin does not offer STI protection.

Vitamin E oil can still irritate anal skin or rectal tissues if you are sensitive to it, which can potentially lead to infection.

As an oil, vitamin E will degrade sex toys made from latex or jelly rubber, so it’s best to choose another type of anal lubricant when such toys are in use.

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What Is Vitamin E Oil Made From And Is It Safe?

Not all vitamin E oils are the same and what it’s made from depends on whether it was sourced naturally — or in a lab.

You may not have realized that there are natural forms of vitamin E and synthetic ones.

When naturally sourced, vitamin E oil is extracted from sunflowers as D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate.

Natural vitamin E oil is a combination of eight different fat-soluble compounds:

  • Tocopherols
    • Alpha, gamma, beta, and delta
  • Tocotrienols
    • Alpha, beta, gamma, and delta

Only naturally sourced vitamin E offers the complete form of oil and it is the one most easily absorbed by the body.

Synthetic vitamin E is safe — but because it is made in a lab, the concentrations may be higher or lower than what is found in natural vitamin E oil.

When applying Vitamin E oil to your genitals, you want to use it in its purest form, so it’s best to go the natural route.

So how do you know if your vitamin E oil is natural or synthetic?

It’s very easy to tell by the way it is listed on the bottle.

If your vitamin E oil is listed as d-alpha-tocopherol, it’s natural. And if it says dl-alpha-tocopherol, it is synthetic.

The most significant risk with any vitamin E oil use is the potential for an allergic reaction which can cause skin irritation, itching, rash, hives, a burning sensation, or swelling.

The risk for a reaction is low, however.

People with a history of skin allergies should do a patch test on a small area of skin first — your inner elbow is a great place to apply a little oil and monitor for any signs of irritation.

And as we said before, it’s safest to use natural vitamin E oil as a lubricant.

It’s important to note that because vitamin E oil is considered a supplement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate it.

This means that vitamin E oils and supplements can have completely different ingredients with a range of purities.

Many vitamin E oils contain added ingredients — including other oils or fragrances — so it’s essential to read the label if you’re uncertain about the product’s safety.

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What Are Other Lube Alternatives To Vitamin E Oil?

In addition to Vitamin E oil, we encourage using a body-safe store-bought personal lubricant.

There are plenty of personal lubricants available, including:

Here’s a cheat sheet for selecting the best lube based on how you intend to use it:

Lube Type:
Oral Sex Yes Yes Not usually
Vaginal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Anal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Condom Types All All Polyurethane, nitrile and lambskin only
Sex Toy Types All All but silicone All but latex
Bath/Shower Use No Yes Yes
Does It Stain? No Yes Yes
Lube Type:
Oral Sex
Vaginal Sex
Anal Sex
Condom Types
Sex Toy Types
Bath/Shower Use
Does It Stain?

There is a personal lubricant designed for every situation, so if you’re not sure which to choose, you can read through our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find your perfect match.

Our Top Lube Recommendations

After researching hundreds of personal lubricants — and personally testing dozens of them ourselves — we have found the very best lubes of each type, vetted by our team and recommended for their safety and performance.

Editor's Note: When you purchase a product via an affiliate link (*) on our site, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

We’ll take a quick look at the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Lubricants

Water-based lube is water-soluble, so it’s easy to clean, and the texture is similar to your body’s natural lubrication.

In addition, water-based lube is safe to use with any type of sex toy, condom, dental dam, or diaphragm.

Although water-based lubes may need to be reapplied, they can be reactivated with a bit of water if you need, but you cannot use them in the shower or bathtub.

If you want more info on water-based lubes, we did a deep dive on the safest and best water-based personal lubricants to help you find your best match.

  • Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone lube is safe for all condoms and lasts much longer than water-based lubes — plus it works great in the shower, hot tub, or other wet environments.

If you’re not sure which type of lube to choose, it will depend on how you plan to use them.

Silicone lubricants have a thick consistency that feels very different from your own natural lubrication.

The silky smoothness of silicone lube makes it an excellent choice for anal or using anal toys for something like pegging, but it cannot be used with silicone toys because it can damage the material.

We reviewed the best, and safest silicone-based personal lubes available on the market.

  • Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricant is made from natural or organic oils that are body-safe and can be used for anal and vaginal sex.

If you have any nut allergies, use caution and read the label because sometimes, oil-based lube can contain nut-based oil.

If you’re not using polyisoprene or latex condoms, oil-based lube is a good choice for anal sex because it is very slick in texture like silicone.

But oil-based lubes are not suitable for use with dental dams, and should never be ingested or used during oral sex.

You can learn more about oil-based lube in our well-researched variety of the best oil-based personal lubricants.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural and organic sex lubricants are either water-based or oil-based. And there are many options to choose from depending on your needs.

If you have nut allergies, always check the label in case it is an ingredient added to certain oil-based, natural, or organic lubes.

To help you find a good one, we assembled the best and safest natural and organic lubricants available now.

Are There Any Safe Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re in the heat of the moment and you need a lube alternative that can be found around the house, here are some options:

As long as you use 100% pure aloe vera with no chemicals or additives, Aloe vera is safe to use as a personal lubricant.

Aloe vera has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and it’s very safe to use as lube unless you have a latex allergy — the aloe plant contains natural latex within its leaves.

Some companies — like Aloe Cadabra, which we personally reviewed and is a staff favorite — ensure all latex is removed during the manufacturing process.

Extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil is another safe lubricant as long as you remember to treat it as the oil it is: Don’t use it with latex or polyisoprene condoms, or with latex dental dams or diaphragms.

Additional safe lube alternatives include avocado oil, argan oil, shea butter, and CBD oil.

Bottom Line: 

Vitamin E oil is extremely moisturizing and easy to find, but not all vitamin E oils are the same.

Always check the label to determine if your vitamin E oil is natural or synthetic — and go with naturally-derived oil as a lubricant.

If you’re concerned about any sexual lubricant ingredients, you can always refer to our personal lube guide or read through our complete list of safe (and unsafe!) lube alternatives.

All Things Lube