The powerful antioxidant vitamin E is extremely beneficial for your skin. Not only does it combat free radicals, reduce scarring, help prevent acne and decrease the signs of aging but it can also help reduce the damaging effects of harmful UV rays to your skin.
How does it help your skin?
Neutralizes free radicals
Free radicals, which are caused by the negative effects of pollution and sun exposure, damage your skin. The essential Vitamin E fights against these by adding an electron to them, which stabilizes them. This prevents the free radicals from causing damage to your cells.
Exposure to UV, even a small amount, reduces your natural levels of vitamin E substantially. Whilst this means that the vitamin E has worked hard to protect your skin, you need to replenish the levels again. This can be done by eating foods containing vitamin E or using a topical cream or oil.
Heals skin and reduces scarring
Vitamin E quickly accelerates the healing of damaged skin. This can be from sunburn or a type of skin irritation, for example, but it also reduces scars significantly. The free radicals already mentioned make it more difficult for scars to heal so neutralizing them also lets the healing process move along more quickly.
Moisturizes your skin
Vitamin E is found in your cell membranes and protects them by forming a barrier around the cells. This ensures they stay hydrated as moisture is prevented from escaping through the barrier. This keeps your skin supple and smooth rather than dry with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dry skin can cause itching and the moisturizing effects of vitamin E can help to reduce this.
With anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin E is also good at calming red and itchy skin. You can use it to get significant relief from skin irritation, such as eczema.
How much vitamin E do you need?
You should consume about 15 mg of vitamin E each day. Breastfeeding women need a higher amount of 19 mg while children don’t need as much of it on a daily basis.
It’s found in lots of foods as well as vegetable oils, such as sunflower, canola, safflower and wheat germ oil. Green vegetables have high concentrations, such as broccoli, kale and spinach. Nuts and seeds are also a good source, such as peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. Salmon and other seafood also contain good levels of vitamin E as well as some processed foods, such as margarine, cereal and fruit juice. Your body will absorb vitamin E much better if you combine it with foods containing vitamin C. Both of these work well together to protect your skin.
As well as food, you can find vitamin E in numerous skincare products, such as moisturizers, sunscreens, serums and oils. You can usually get enough vitamin E in your food but there are some cases where a supplement may be advisable, such as when recommended by a doctor.