My earliest memories of using vitamin E on my skin were when my favorite aunt made me slather on a vitamin E cream after I’d gotten a sunburn. I don’t recall the brand or even whether or not it helped my burn since I was so fair as a child and didn’t really understand the long term effects of sunburns.
However, it has stuck with me over all these years that even back then it was understood that this vitamin has some intensely healing and anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically to the skin.
Now that we know more about vitamins and their constituents and their various forms, we have access to some pretty potent skincare products that utilize the best and most healing forms of a vitamin. Especially when it comes to topical application.
For example, I never even knew about the ester version of vitamin C for topical use until the past several years. Vitamin E also has various forms, some of which happen to be better when applied topically to the skin. Mixed tocopherols tend to be the choice when it comes to topical application since it has stronger resistance to oxidation.Antioxidant
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. It is often used in skincare and other body care formulations as a preserving agent because it helps to prevent cell oxidation and spoilage. It does not help with things like mold growth, but it does have a powerful antioxidant aspect that can help prevent a product from oxidizing due to free radical exposure.
Vitamin e is also antioxidant within the body, but the best way to get it is through your diet, not through supplementation. This is because vitamin E is not water soluble.
You do not excrete it from the body via urination like you do with other vitamins like vitamin C, so it can potentially build up to toxic levels in the body if you take too much. While it’s virtually unheard of to get “too much” vitamin E via the diet, unfortunately supplementing with synthetic forms can quickly build in the system to levels that may make you feel sick.
Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties. Natural carrier oils are often rich in vitamin E. These include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and argan oil among others. These oils, because of their naturally high levels of vitamin E, are excellent anti-inflammatory agents.
While the primary focus on vitamin E has been its natural antioxidant value, it has also shown anti-inflammatory value on many different human tissues, including the skin.
This is likely why it is so often recommended for topical application after a sunburn. It is also excellent for skin that is prone to inflammation, such as people with rosacea, acne or other skin conditions where the skin is frequently irritated, red or inflamed.
Danna Norek owns AuraSensory.com where vitamin E (tocopherols) are used as a skin soothing ingredient in many of the products. Offerings include aluminum free deodorant, a popular Shine Enhancing Sulfate Free Shampoo and a Deep Hydration Conditioner.