Sunflowers are a natural source of Vitamin E

Ingredient Highlight: All About Vitamin E

For years, Vitamin E has been a common, dermatologist-approved ingredient found in a wide range of skincare products. Usually listed as Tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate on ingredient lists, Vitamin E is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin and offers a wide range of skincare benefits. Unlike other skincare vitamins like A and C however, Vitamin E is actually a group of fat-soluble (or  lipophilic) molecules with antioxidant effects and is the most abundant lipophilic antioxidant found in human skin. So what exactly is Vitamin E, and why, and how,  should you be incorporating it into your skincare routine? 

Read on to learn more about Vitamin E, a true hero ingredient in every skincare routine.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E, also known as Tocopherol, is the most abundant lipophilic antioxidant found in human skin but can become depleted due to environmental aggressors, especially UV exposure. Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin E is a collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta Tocopherols are the most common forms of vitamin E in skincare products. Each of these Tocopherols contains unique features that allow our skin to effectively retain moisture and protect itself against environmental pollution.

While Vitamin E is exclusively obtained in the body through diet (primarily found in vegetable oils such as avocado, sweet almond, olive, and sunflower oils), studies also support the benefits of using this ingredient topically, as it works to protect the skin against oxidative stress induced by environmental factors; improve hyperpigmentation; provide protection against UV damage; and also has firming, hydrating, and anti-aging properties that improve the elasticity, structure, and softness of the skin.

Which form of Vitamin E is the best for skin?

One of the most common and popular forms of Vitamin E used in skincare formulas is Tocopherol–a potent antioxidant that has numerous additional benefits. This fat-soluble vitamin helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV rays, while its antioxidant properties also make it an effective ingredient for preventing premature aging, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing.  

In skincare formulations, Tocopherol is often found in the form of Tocopheryl Acetate, which is more stable and less likely to oxidize than pure Vitamin E. It can be used in a variety of skincare products, such as moisturizers, serums, and eye creams, and is particularly effective when paired with other antioxidants, such as Vitamin C. When used in conjunction with Vitamin C, Tocopheryl Acetate can enhance the efficacy of both ingredients. Vitamin C is water-soluble and helps to brighten the complexion and boost collagen production, while Tocopherol is lipid-soluble and helps to protect against lipid peroxidation. Together, they provide a powerful defense against environmental stressors and help to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin.

How does Vitamin E benefit the skin?

While Vitamin E’s primary role in skin is as an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, environmental pollution, and UV radiation, this hero ingredient has many additional benefits, including helping to improve hyperpigmentation; providing photoprotection against UV damage; firming, hydrating and anti-aging properties, and also improving the elasticity, structure, and softness of the skin.

  1. Moisturization

Vitamin E helps to lock in moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin's surface, preventing water loss and leaving the skin soft and supple. Because Vitamin E is a humectant and an emollient, it both attracts moisture and also locks moisture into the skin, preventing water loss. Vitamin E has also been shown to be effective in relieving eczema. 

  1. Hyperpigmentation

Vitamin E oil has several properties that can help improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation. A tyrosinase inhibitor, it inhibits melanin accumulation in skin, which prevents hyperpigmentation. It works as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radical damage that can lead to hyperpigmentation, while its anti-inflammatory properties also help to soothe and calm, reducing redness and irritation associated with hyperpigmentation. Vitamin E oil can be used topically as a dark spot treatment or added to a daily skincare routine to help achieve a more even and bright complexion.

  1. Anti-Aging

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals, which are known to cause wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of premature aging. In addition, it has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin elasticity and firmness. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, pollution, and other environmental factors that can damage the skin.

  1. Skin Repair

Vitamin E has been shown to speed up the skin's healing process, reducing inflammation and improving the appearance of scars and other blemishes. Vitamin E can also promote healing, making it a popular choice for those with acne-prone skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties, meanwhile, can help to soothe and calm the skin, making it an ideal ingredient for those with sensitive skin. 

Here, some of our favorite, free radical-fighting Vitamin E products to add to your line up.

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