When you need a body guard to protect your skin against pollutants and free radical damage, look no further than vitamin E. Touted as the “workhorse of vitamins,” it can help protect, repair and moisturize the skin all at once. But what exactly is vitamin Eand how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know.
WHAT IS VITAMIN E?
Vitamin E is the name for a group of oil-soluble nutrients our bodies need in order to boost the immune system, fight off infection and help cells function properly. Our skin naturally contains more vitamin E than any other nutrient and uses it to protect our skin cells from damage. Although our bodies can absorb vitamin E through food and supplements, incorporating vitamin E into your skincare routine helps to provide immediate benefits. There are eight naturally occurring vitamin E compounds, but tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate are the two you should look for in your skincare products.
WHAT IT DOES:
FIGHTS OFF FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
Throughout the day, our skin is exposed to environmental pollutants, pollen and free radicals (damaging molecules responsible for skin aging). This exposure can cause hyperpigmentation and a breakdown in collagen and elastin, resulting in premature skin aging. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant—antioxidants protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals so they can’t do damage in the first place. Like other antioxidants, vitamin E also helps neutralize free radicals caused by sun exposure and can help minimize sun damage when used with sunscreen.
HYDRATES THE SKIN
Vitamin E keeps our skin’s natural lipid barrier healthy, which helps the skin retain moisture. When our skin’s lipid barrier is weak, moisture escapes from the skin in a process called transepidermal water loss. This can leave the skin dry, irritated, and tight. Vitamin E quenches dryness and helps the skin retain its natural moisture, keeping it hydrated throughout the day.
SOOTHES AND HEALS
As an essential skin nutrient, vitamin E is vital to the skin’s natural healing processes. Vitamin E has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm red, irritated skin and minimize existing scars.