If you’ve ever gone shopping for skincare products and taken a look at many of the product's ingredients list, you will likely find that many of them contain vitamin E in their list. From serums meant to enhance your skin to eye creams and face moisturisers, many kinds of products have them. Even our body produces some vitamin E too!
But what is the point of having vitamin E, and how can we benefit from it? Are there different kinds of vitamin Es and which one should I look out for? We’ll be breaking down some of the fundamental benefits of vitamin E and whether your skin needs it or if you should avoid it.
What is vitamin E, even?
Vitamin E is a legitimate vitamin which has antioxidant and nourishing properties. And, it exists as a group of chemical compounds. To be precise, there are a total of eight different types of vitamin E, which can make identifying what vitamin E is in your skincare products confusing and difficult. This family of oil-soluble anti-oxidants are commonly found as tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol in many skincare products and is often labelled just as vitamin E on your product ingredients list.
How vitamin E helps boost your skin
The vitamin E found in our skincare products are almost all designed for topical application, meaning that is applied in a cream or paste form onto your skin. Vitamin E is great for skin care as it helps prevent and repair free-radical damage to the skin, while also ensuring that the skin is sufficiently hydrated by aiding in water absorption and staying hydrated through water retention. Free radical damage occurs when electrons are pulled from your skin, from its proteins, tissues, membranes and even DNA. Ensuring that the skin remains hydrated is important as it keeps it feeling supple and resistant to drying out thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E will also act as a substitute for free radicals to pull electrons from, helping them become stable and stopping them from wreaking havoc on your skin.
It is also great at repairing the skin, alleviating the damage UV rays from the sun cause as well as the repair of scars and burns, which often leave severe marks when left alone to repair.
How to determine if vitamin E is right for your skin or not
Vitamin E is great for most skin types, as it is a very gentle ingredient for most people. Those who suffer from eczema will particularly benefit from vitamin E in their skincare products, as it has been proven to reduce its effects on the skin for some with the condition.
If you have oily skin that is sensitive and prone to acne, vitamin E is not an ingredient you should be looking for. Sometimes, these can be accompanied by an allergic reaction to vitamin E, thought statistically less than a per cent of people will be affected by it. If you experience irritation, rashes or itching occurring from the use of vitamin E products, it's best to not continue using vitamin E-containing products. Vitamin E allergy is difficult to isolate, however, so we advise you compare the effects of different vitamin E-containing products to isolate if vitamin E is the cause of the reaction or if it is something else.
What kind of forms do vitamin E come in, and which is the best option for me?
For best effect, look out for oils and moisturisers that constrain vitamin E, as vitamin E is best delivered through these types of products. Vitamin E is oil-soluble, which means that it is easy for your skin to absorb from the top layer of your skin.
Many products will contain both vitamin C and vitamin E together. This is because when used in conjunction with each other, they boost the effects of getting both. Vitamin E will help stabilise the free radicals, and vitamin C will help the vitamin E compound repair itself, allowing the vitamin E to stabilise more free radicals.
Before trying vitamin E as an oil, it is recommended that you start off with a moisturiser. As moisturisers are not as concentrated as oils and serums, the moisturisers’ effect on your skin can serve as a good gauge of whether vitamin E provides a positive impact on your skin.
How and when do I use vitamin E in my skincare routine?
The sequence in which you apply your skincare products is vital to the effectiveness of your products, and putting them in the right order can at times completely nullify any potential benefits you can get.
Remember that when using vitamin E oil, it is important to apply it after you apply any creams. This is because creams are unable to penetrate an oil layer, which means that any product above the oil will not be absorbed by the skin.
Many advise that for the face, creams or serums be used as oil can feel a bit greasy for some on the face. Oils are best applied to your body, as they provide a feeling of hydration and keep the moisture locked in on your skin as you go throughout the day. This is even more important for those who live in colder climates or seasons. Apply the oils to your skin after a shower and your skin is still damp to prevent your skin from feeling dried out.
Vitamin E is a great way of giving your skin its glow back, ensuring that moisture is locked into your skin while dealing with the free radicals looking to devour your skin. Products with it are a great investment for many people and skin types, but it is important to be sure that it is the right fit for you. By using a skincare product with a lower concentration of vitamin E, like a moisturiser, you can check if your skin is compatible with it before you fork out the money for a higher concentration serum or oil. Before you know it, your skin will look radiant and feel better than ever!