With pollution, stress, smoke and less-than-healthy foods we encounter every day, we kind of need an army to protect our skin. Luckily, you can think of antioxidants like vitamin E. Here are some of the benefits.
Vitamin E is found in many moisturizers, and the oil may be used as a moisturizer to prevent or treat dry, flaking skin. Research has shown that even after a small amount of UV exposure, what you might get just going into and out of the office, or while running errands, levels of vitamin E in the skin drop by 50 percent. That means the vitamin has done its job, but it also underscores how important is to replenish this nutrient by eating foods full of E.
Skin cancer prevention
A 2013 study found that mice given supplements containing vitamin E were less likely to develop skin cancer, even when exposed to large quantities of ultraviolet light. These results prompted some supporters of vitamin E oil and supplements to claim that it can prevent skin cancer. However, studies on humans did not show the same results.
Reducing skin itching
Vitamin E cannot treat allergic reactions, infections, and other issues that cause skin itching. Because it moisturizes the skin, however, it may offer temporary relief from itching caused by dry skin and it could also ease eczema because it may alleviate the dryness, itching, and flaking associated with eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Helps with sunburn
Numerous studies show that topical vitamin E can decrease DNA damage and lessen the redness and swelling of a burn. But because it only has a natural SPF of about 3, you shouldn’t use it as your sole protection from the sun’s strong rays.
Minimizing the appearance of scars
It may be an old wives’ tale but it has long been suggested that vitamin E, applied to the skin, taken as a supplement, or both, might treat scars, or prevent them from forming in the first place. Research does suggest that well-moisturized skin is less likely to scar. So for people who do not have an allergic reaction to vitamin E, using it as a moisturizer while the wound heals may offer some benefits.
Preventing or treating fine lines and wrinkles
Dry skin tends to look more wrinkled than well-moisturized skin. The moisturizing benefits of vitamin E oil may help the skin look more youthful and less wrinkled. Claims that vitamin E prevents or treats wrinkles, however, are unsupported by scientific evidence. The best strategy for preventing wrinkles is to avoid direct sunlight and to wear a quality sunscreen.
Who should use vitamin E on their skin, and who should avoid it?
Vitamin E is usually not advisable for super-sensitive, very oily, or acne-prone skin. Although it’s very uncommon, topical vitamin E can also act as an allergen to some, causing irritation, itching or even a rash when it touches the skin.
Considering that it’s also a naturally occurring substance in the body, and it’s also been shown to relieve eczema for some people, sensitivity is really a case-by-case basis that, at this point, cannot be generalized as an allergen.
For the vast majority, though, vitamin E can pose serious skin benefits. Because vitamin E is oil soluble (meaning it can be delivered through or as an oil), incorporating it into your skin-care routine through oils and moisturizers are some of the best ways to use the ingredient.