Let it be known: Vitamin E is the unsung hero of skincare.
Despite being frequently overlooked for vitamin B and C, it actually has many skin-loving benefits, including but not limited to its powerful ability to fight the appearance of sun damage and keep skin looking youthful and firm.
Here, we break down everything you need to know about vitamin E, from how it works, to who should take it, and why it deserves a place in your beauty routine.
WHAT IS VITAMIN E?
Vitamin E is a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage.
On a slightly more technical level, vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, actually refers to a family of compounds and is the umbrella name for a group of oil-soluble antioxidants. The most common ones in skincare are alpha-tocopherol and tocopherol acetate.
HOW DOES VITAMIN E BENEFIT YOUR SKIN?
Vitamin E has a number of science-backed benefits when used topically.
Besides working to neutralise free radicals and prevent signs of ageing (such as reduced collagen and fine lines), vitamin E is also a 'photo-protectant' and encourages cellular repair to help fight against sun damage.
Its UV-mitigating capabilities are particularly heightened when combined with vitamin C, which increases its absorption.
According to a number of studies, vitamin E has also been shown to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation (particularly when used in oil form), stretch marks, and scars.
Additionally, it has been found to help delay the onset of wrinkles and work to preserve both fat and moisture for a firm, hydrated visage.
WHAT SORTS OF PRODUCTS HAVE VITAMIN E IN THEM?
Vitamin E is typically available in oil and cream form. While there are dedicated products with stronger concentrations of vitamin E, it is also a common addition to many anti-ageing creams, serums, face masks and sunscreens in a lower dose, and is frequently combined with vitamin C for increased absorption.
Outside of skincare, it is also available as a supplement, however professional medical guidance is highly recommended before oral consumption of vitamin E, particularly for those with underlying health conditions.
C E FERULIC Serum by Skinceuticals, Dhs130
WHO SHOULD USE VITAMIN E AND WHO SHOULD AVOID IT?
Despite its many reported advantages, vitamin E skincare is not recommended for everyone.
According to the expert-reviewed resource Healthline, those who have very oily, sensitive or acne-prone skin may find topical vitamin E oil to be aggravating.
And while it is highly uncommon, topical vitamin E can also trigger an allergic reaction in some people, resulting in skin irritation, itchiness or a rash.
For the most part, however, vitamin E is very safe and works optimally when teamed with vitamin C (or used in a product that has both). Those with occasionally sensitive skin may best benefit from a moisturiser containing vitamin E over a highly-concentrated serum or oil.