Derms Say This Key Ingredient Reverses Skin Damage

When it comes to vitamins for skincare, you might be very familiar with vitamin C and vitamin A. You might be using a vitamin C serum for its brightening, collagen-boosting, and skin tone-evening benefits. And retinoids could be a part of your anti-acne and anti-wrinkle routine. But have you familiarized yourself with vitamin E yet? It’s another healthy skin ingredient that can make a big difference.

“Vitamin E is a nutrient that happens to be one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, which means that it is stored in the body’s fatty tissue,” explains dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar. “Its biggest role is to act as an antioxidant. Fat-soluble vitamins play integral roles in many physiological processes such as vision, bone health, immune function and blood coagulation. Vitamin E can be naturally derived or synthetically made in a lab. When sourced naturally, vitamin E is extracted from plant-based oils, seeds, nuts, avocado, and whole grains.”

And when it comes to skincare, the nutrient (which is also known as alpha-tocopherol) is known for its hydrating and protecting properties, adds Alexis Parcells, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Sunnie Skincare. She highlighted some of the benefits below.

Barrier Protection: “Vitamin E keeps lipids (healthy oils and fats) in your skin and allows your natural barrier to remain intact,” Parcells says. “This aids in hydration and prevents skin from feeling dry.”

Heals Skin: “Vitamin E has been shown to help accelerate damaged skin from sunburns and other injuries up to 50% faster,” she explains.

Antioxidant Powers: “Vitamin E has been known to neutralize free radicals and reverse skin damage. When combined with vitamin C, it can provide additional sun protection and reverse aging,” she says.

Aguilar says that vitamin E can be consumed by eating foods rich in it or taking supplements. But if you want to reap some of those skincare benefits, you can also apply it topically. “The benefits of vitamin E vary based on how it is used,” explains Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, of Eternal Dermatology and Aesthetics. “You’ll find that ingesting oral supplements will help to heal skin conditions—dermatitis—whereas topical application of vitamin E will help to fade scars and soothe inflamed skin.”

Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference and your own specific needs. It’s best to check with a healthcare professional before you try any new supplements, and you might want to discuss with your dermatologist about using any vitamin E skincare products in your routine.

If you do want to try the topical route, Aguilar says almost everyone can benefit from using vitamin E topically. “Vitamin E works well to assist with wound healing and scar maturation,” Parcells says. “It’s also helpful as an antioxidant and can be used alongside vitamin C to assist in repairing skin damage. It’s a great moisturizer and can be therapeutic in improving skin tone and elasticity.”

Specific skin types that might benefit the most from vitamin E are those with chronically dry and inflamed skin, atopic dermatitis, and eczema, Rodney says. But check with your dermatologist first before using it to treat any chronic conditions.

And while the ingredient can be helpful all-around, some people might experience some irritation, like superficial dermatitis. “If you have oily skin, vitamin E may not be the best solution for you,” Rodney adds. “It can potentially clog pores and increase the likelihood of breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to perform a patch test first.”

Check out some vitamin E skincare products below.

“[This] works alongside seven other oils (Kalahari melon, sorrel, baobab, sunflower, rice bran, coconut, and jojoba) to help nourish skin and increase moisture,” Parcells says.

Rodney recommends this night cream, which she says contains multiple forms of vitamin E, coconut oil, and other antioxidant agents to heal your skin.

Malin+Goetz’s face moisturizer is lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly so it can get to work. It’s a formula with fatty acid technology, vitamin E, and soothing chamomile.

“In addition to being clean and cruelty-free, this serum packs vitamin E alongside vitamin C and ferulic for a powerful antioxidant punch,” Parcells says. “Apply after showering and before bedtime, and consider sealing in with ceramide or hyaluronic cream for best results.”

“[It’s] a great serum with vitamin E and C to brighten your complexion and reduce fine lines,” Rodney says.

This serum is described as a “first aid kit in a bottle.” It’s formulated to soothe any irritation and redness, plus strengthen and treat dry skin. In addition to vitamin E, it contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids from macadamia seed and evening primrose oils.

I’m a huge fan of Versed’s oil-serum. It sinks into my skin so quickly and works really fast at correcting any dryness. It also leaves my skin ultra glowy.

With over 100,000 ratings and 4.5 out of five stars, TruSkin’s serum is an Amazon favorite. It’s a blend of vitamin C, botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, and jojoba oil to improve the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots.

This smoothing serum is designed to be used on the lines around your eyes, forehead, and lips. It’s got vitamin E to neutralize free radicals, hyaluronic acid to moisturize, and rice bran wax to smooth.

A powerful formula, this serum contains 15% vitamin C to improve firmness and brighten the skin, plus ferulic acid and vitamin E to enhance the vitamin C benefits and hyaluronic acid to lock in hydration.

“I prefer using vitamin E products that are organic,” Aguilar says. “I really like the simple and cruelty-free vitamin E oil by Cliganic. It’s 100% pure, natural, free of any harmful ingredients and is always deeply nourishing.”

“[It’s] infused with vitamin E to soothe skin and help with fading scars and other blemishes,” Rodney says.

Erase any makeup, dirt, and excess oil with this cleansing product. It’s infused with nourishing olive oil and vitamin E, so it will leave the skin hydrated.

This restorative and deeply moisturizing face oil contains retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E to improve fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.

Brighten and cleanse your skin with this face wash—it also has some exfoliating benefits. Ingredients include vitamin C, extracts of licorice and lily, white tea extract, and vitamin E.

This cleanser may be gentle, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard-working. It’s formulated with 11 amino acids to replenish and support skin elasticity; maris sal (atomized seawater) to calm irritation and leave your skin radiant; and a blend of vitamin E, sodium PCA, and sodium lactate for super hydration.

Some face washes can dry the skin out and strip it of its natural oils, but not this vitamin E–infused one. The light and creamy product is also enriched with wheatgerm oil, which can help reduce water loss in the skin.

Next, The 5 “Anti-Aging” Skincare Truths That Everyone Needs to Hear

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