Vitamin E: The Key To Healthy, Younger-Looking Skin

Younger-Looking Skin

When it comes to skincare products, particularly those formulated for aging skin, there’s one thing you need to be aware of:

Not all marketing claims are true.

Most of those products promise to make you look younger and more radiant. Some of them even promise to reverse your existing signs of aging.

Sounds tempting, right?

One of the things those brands use as a selling point is vitamin E.

While it’s true that it makes a powerful anti-aging ingredient, you shouldn’t just rely on those brands’ claims. You need to be completely aware of what the vitamin can do should you decide to use it on your skin.

So, to help you understand this ingredient better, check out this really handy infographic on using vitamin E for your skin.

Vitamin E for Skin

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has a huge role in your skin’s health. It works primarily as an antioxidant.

What it basically does is neutralize free radicals.

Think of it this way:

The atoms inside your body generally have an even number of electrons which makes them stable. If an atom has an uneven number of electrons, it’s forced to steal an electron from healthy cells to regain stability.

Those unstable atoms are what we call free radicals. As they grab the electrons from your skin’s healthy cells, your collagen gets damaged and your skin experiences dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.

This is where vitamin E fits in.

As an antioxidant, it makes sure those free radicals don’t cause problems for your skin.

But, here’s the thing:

Your body can’t really produce vitamin E. So, you have to make sure you get enough of it in your diet to keep your skin in top shape.

How much is enough?

Well, for teenagers and adults, that’s 15mg a day.

Fortunately, there are a lot of vitamin-E rich foods you can turn to.

Avocados, for example, can provide as much as 14% of the vitamin E you need for a day. Blackberries can give you as much as 6% while kiwis at 7%.

Now, if eating these foods don’t appeal to you, another option you can try is to take supplements.

In case you are on a tight budget, you can go with tablets but they aren’t that easy to swallow. Softgels and capsules are easier to take in but they are more expensive.

A warning:

If you want to make sure you get all the benefits of vitamin E (which I’m going to talk about later), make sure you pick its natural form- d-tocopheryl succinate.

You should also take it with a meal that has fat. Remember, it’s fat-soluble.

Applying Vitamin E On Skin

That’s right. You can also apply vitamin E topically and you have 3 ways to do that.

You can apply pure vitamin E on your problem areas, mix it with a carrier oil before application or you can mix it with your skin care products. Honestly, all of these methods are effective, provided that you do them properly.

Well, they are really not that hard.

For direct application, one of the most common methods is pricking a vitamin E capsule open. Once it has enough opening, you squeeze out the product and rub it on your problem areas.


You have to make sure you are using a sterile needle in pricking the capsule. Otherwise, you’ll just be contaminating it, causing bacteria to get into your skin.

Now, that’s not something you’d want, right?

The second method works similarly. However, instead of massaging it into your skin right away, you mix it first with a carrier oil.

Two of your great options are jojoba oil and olive oil.

The third method is pretty popular, particularly with those into DIYs. The idea is simply to add vitamin E to your skincare products to up their benefits.

Moisturizers, lotions, hand creams- just take your pick.

Now, for the most interesting part.

Benefits of Vitamin E for The Skin

Vitamin E is one of the most powerful vitamins for the skin and there’s really no doubt about that. But, what exactly can it do for your skin?

Let me share with you in detail.


Vitamin E has this unique ability to soothe dry skin by maintaining the skin’s barrier function and preventing moisture loss. It can bind water to boost your skin’s hydration.

Protects the skin

Did you know that applying vitamin E on your skin can actually protect it from the sun’s harmful rays?

It protects the skin from the damaging effects of UV exposure by strengthening its natural barrier and neutralizing the effects of free radicals.

And you know what’s surprising?

Antioxidants usually become ineffective after stabilizing free radicals. However, if you use vitamin C, you can actually reactivate oxidized vitamin E, allowing you to experience its continuous protection.

Lightens the skin and fades dark spots

Vitamin E, particularly tocotrienols, are found to possess the ability to inhibit the production of melanin. It’s that pigment that gives your skin its color.

When there’s too much melanin, skin discolorations can happen. Just think about melasma, sunspots and age spots.

Now, here’s another interesting fact:

One study showed that combining vitamin E with vitamin C can boost its depigmenting effect.

So, if you are thinking of using vitamin E to lighten up your skin or fade away your dark spots, you should consider adding a vitamin C product to your routine.

One of your best options is a serum because it possesses smaller molecules, allowing it to penetrate the skin easier. It’s also highly concentrated which means it’s able to deliver more benefits.

Now, as to which vitamin C serum you should go for, we actually have an in-depth review you might find handy.

However, if you want to cut the search shorter, you can just go ahead and see our most recommended product. Tip: You can actually save as much as 10% if you use this link.

It’s already formulated with vitamins C and E so you won’t have to go looking for another product to pair with your Vit C serum.

Slows down signs of skin aging

This is probably the most common reason why people use vitamin E and it’s not really surprising why.

Remember those free radicals?

When they steal atoms from your skin’s healthy cells, it damages their DNA and this can speed up skin aging. You’ll have more age spots and your skin can get wrinkly, saggy and loose.

By neutralizing those free radicals with an antioxidant, you are essentially preventing premature skin aging.

Apart from that, vitamin E can also boost your skin’s collagen process. It’s what gives your skin’s firmness and strength.

The more collagen your skin has, the more toned and firm it is.

A Word of Caution

Although vitamin E is great for the skin, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any bad side.

The vitamin can actually increase your risk of bleeding. So, if you are taking any blood thinners and anticoagulants or you have a medical condition that affects your clotting process, you might want to skip taking vitamin E supplements.

You also shouldn’t take it if you are drinking alcohol.

Overdosing with vitamin E is rare if you rely on diet alone. However, if you are taking supplements, you might want to watch out for diarrhea, dizziness, blurred vision and weakness as those are sure signs that you’ve taken way more than you’re supposed to.

As for topical application, make sure to test it out first. Although the vitamin is easily tolerated, it’s still a good idea to stick on the safe side and do a sensitivity patch test.

Remember, vitamin E is a bit thick and heavy. If you have acne-prone skin, it can make your skin break out even more.

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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