If Your Skin Routine Doesn't Include Vitamin E, You're Missing Out

Audrey Noble
Photo credit: Ake Ngiamsanguan

From Harper's BAZAAR

Vitamin E isn't as trendy as vitamins C or A in skincare-but you're likely already reaping the benefits. The antioxidant can be found in the ingredient list in tons of serums and creams, but most people don't know what it is of what it does. We spoke to dermatologists Dendy Engelman and Deanne Mraz Robinson to get the scoop on everything you need to know about vitamin E and your skin.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties. “Vitamin E is like that glue that holds everything together,” says Engelman. “Together they help the maintain the integrity of your skin.” If you’re looking for it in a product, Robinson says it’s most commonly found as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate on an ingredient list.

Both agree that vitamin E is best in a skin cream or lipid-based solution like an oil. It's most commonly mixed with vitamin C in serums to activate the antioxidant properties (more on those benefits below). You can even get it through your diet by incorporating more olive oil, vegetables, and nuts, but Robinson says studies show that topical antioxidants benefit the skin faster than dietary ones. As for ingesting it, Engelman says the recommended daily does is about 15mg. She says it is possible unsafe if taken orally in high doses and to not take doses of 400 IU/day if you have heart disease or diabetes.

Who Shouldn't Use Vitamin E?

While vitamin E can generally work for anyone, those who have oily or acne-prone skin though should be careful about using too much of it in their skincare routines. Robinson says vitamin E is acnegenic and too much of it can cause breakouts

It's a Powerful Antioxidant

Antioxidants fight the damage caused by free radicals in our environment. Overtime, free radical oxidation can cause your skin's natural barrier to weaken. Research has shown that even after a small amount of UV exposure, levels of vitamin E in the skin drop by 50 percent, so it's important to replenish it to maintain skin health.

It's Anti-Inflammatory

Vitamin E helps skin stay moisturized and supple and fights inflammation. Engelman says one study shows vitamin E relieves symptoms of those with a condition called atopic dermatitis, which causes red, itchy, and irritated skin. Robinson also says it stabilizes vitamin C and adds additional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to skincare products.

It Treats Scars and Stretch Marks

Vitamin E isn't only beneficial for your face: you should use it everywhere on your body. Studies have shown that use of vitamin E can help with scar recovery from burns, surgery, and other wounds. Engelman says it can also help prevent and treat stretch marks. So to sum it all up, vitamin E is extremely beneficial to your overall skincare routine. If it's not already in your routine, stock up on some of our favorite above.

('You Might Also Like',)