Is Vitamin E Really a Skincare Miracle Ingredient?

If you’re a label reader (hopefully you are!), you’re bound to see vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) listed on more products than not. But what exactly is it in there for? And is it safe?

Vitamin E has long been praised for its moisture-retaining benefits, ability to reduce dryness and irritation due to excess sun exposure, and even protect skin from environmental pollutants like tobacco smoke.

But with pretty much all skincare ingredients, there’s a secret: balance. Going overboard with anything is a recipe for disaster sooner or later, and vitamins in skincare are no exception. While they do offer some amazing benefits—vitamin C for example helps build collagen, and vitamin A has shown an ability to defend against wrinkles—they can quickly turn from friend to foe if overused or used improperly.

So the key to employing vitamin E for glowing skin is to not overdo it and to do it right. Yes, there is a right way to use vitamin E on your skin.

Vitamin E Skincare Best Practices

1. Pair it with vitamin C: Some research has found pairing vitamin E with C can boost its sun protecting ability, which is great for healthy looking skin. Both vitamins fight free radicals, which can help reduce the appearance of aging or lackluster sapped skin.

2. Use it at night: If applying a vitamin E oil to the face, it can sit heavy on the skin making it less than ideal for under makeup. Use it before bed and the oil should absorb overnight leaving skin soft and silky. Use caution with vitamin E if you’re prone to breakouts as it may clog pores and increase the risk.

3. Make it your dry skin go-to: Dry skin can strike at any time of year and can quickly get out of hand, especially conditions like eczema. At the first sign of dryness, start applying vitamin E oil to reduce the dryness and itchiness.

4. Pre and post sun exposure: Because vitamin E improves sun protection, it’s a great vitamin to drench your skin with prior to hitting the beach and its potent moisture-enhancing properties also make it an excellent post-sun recovery oil. Its anti-inflammatory benefits may also help reduce the length or severity of any accidental sunburn.

5. Use on hair: For dandruff sufferers and those suffering with thin or weak, dry hair, massaging the scalp with vitamin E oil may improve the overall scalp condition and increase circulation for healthier hair and scalp.

And yes, eating vitamin-E-rich foods like walnuts or avocados can help to boost your skin health from the inside out!

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