Boasting a wealth of benefits, vitamin E is commonly found labelled as tocopherol. Tocopheryl acetate is commonly used in place of tocopherol as it’s less acidic and more beneficial for the skin. These are the forms most readily available to our bodies.

But what does vitamin E do?

This fat-soluble antioxidant promotes healthy skin, protects from UV rays, and naturally heals and moisturises. A common ingredient in sun cream, this unsung hero is finally taking centre stage.

Vitamin E’s long history and versatility makes it one of the most well-researched, safe, and effective chemicals you can use on your body. Found naturally in foods or applied topically in concentrated forms, this compound can enrich your health.

The following are the most noticeable benefits of vitamin E for skin:

washing hands
Source: Aqua Mechanical

1. Anti-ageing

Perhaps its most sought after effect, vitamin E is famed for its anti-ageing properties.

Classed as an antioxidant, a large part of this compound’s effectiveness is found in its neutralisation of free radicals. These are atoms with unpaired electrons which can bind to other chemicals, causing serious damage.

Common sources of free radicals include:

Cigarette smoke
Pollution
Sun damage
Stress

No wonder the modern, cosmopolitan man or woman is at risk!

Free radicals can bind with important parts of our cells like DNA, causing a chain reaction which inflames our skin as the body tries to protect itself. This mechanism degrades collagen and leads to wrinkles.

It’s important to note that this can also lead to cancer.

Luckily, antioxidants safely bind with free radicals to disrupt this chain reaction and prevent cell damage. Because vitamin E is fat soluble, it’s vital for protecting our lipid-based cell membranes. It also promotes the regrowth of collagen, giving the skin a fuller appearance.

As we grow older, our vitamin E levels drop naturally. This is why continued supplementation can reduce the more obvious signs of ageing.

2. Moisturising

Arguably its most powerful effect, the ability of vitamin E to moisturise dehydrated skin is what makes it such a staple of the beauty and cosmetics world.

As we lose natural oil-producing glands when we age, our skin slowly becomes drier and more prone to wrinkling.

Oil keeps moisture in by forming a barrier, giving our skin a younger, fuller appearance. This protective layer also speeds recovery from injuries.

What vitamin E is particularly good for is adding to this oil naturally. This helps us expel from our pores and keep skin hydrated. Combine this with its collagen-promoting effects and it’s easy to understand why this nutrient is in such high demand.

The tocopheryl acetate in good quality hand creams is a form of vitamin E able to penetrate the skin and provide the best rejuvenating effects.

3. Cracked Nails

The same conditions that lead to dry skin on the hands can wreak havoc with nails and cuticles. Fortunately, these are made of the same proteins as the skin, and will respond similarly to treatment.

Provided your nail cream contains the same good quality source of vitamin E as your hand cream, you can protect your nails and cuticles from damaging free radicals. The body is able to repair cracks naturally when properly nourished.

The oiling effect of this nutrient will also keep the general fingertip area healthy.

sunshine
Source: Susanne Nilsson

4. Sun Protection

Sun damage to the skin is one of the more well-known causes of premature ageing. Children are even more susceptible to sunburn than adults. It seems we’re cursed to forever worry about how much time we spend outdoors.

Luckily, we’ve developed some great strategies to protect ourselves.

When combined with standard sun cream, vitamin E can greatly enhance photoprotection. It’s been shown that the combination of antioxidants and oxybenzone significantly reduces phototoxicity.

This prevents sunburn from happening in the first place! More importantly, applying vitamin E to the skin after sunburn can help limit the damage.

Just like a good hand cream, no good sun cream should be without a source of this molecule.

Vitamin E has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing, heal the skin, and defend our cells from the ravages of modern life. As a fat-soluble compound, this antioxidant can penetrate the epidermis, making topical application extremely effective.

Whether you’re trying to protect yourself from the sun, or looking for a way to rejuvenate your hands, grabbing a product with Vitamin E could revolutionise your regimen.