The Skincare Benefits of Vitamin E

This is an ingredient that you’ve probably noticed pop up a lot - it’s in body lotions, night creams and even hair care. But what’s the big deal with Vitamin E anyway? Why is it in so many products? Here’s everything you need to know about this skincare ingredient and why it’s such a staple in many skincare formulas.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E capsules on white background

Vitamin E is a fat-based molecule that occurs naturally in our own skin, and in a lot of different plant oils. It’s also present in a lot of super-healthy foods - spinach, avocado, and pumpkin to name a few. The Vitamin E that you’ll find in skincare is isolated from nut and seed oils, and how it’s listed gives you a clue exactly where it comes from, too. 

Vitamin E most commonly appears as Tocopheryl Acetate, a synthesised (but no less effective) form of Vitamin E. Any ingredient name that’s a variant of ‘Tocopherol’ is always a form of Vitamin E. For example, there’s also D-Alpha Tocopherol - the ‘D’ indicates that it’s a natural form of Vitamin E, rather than a synthetic one. 

La Prairie Skin Caviar Moisturiser product image on white background

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream | $690
La Prairie combines the skin-nourishing benefits of caviar with Vitamin E and Vitamin C in this ultra-luxurious feeling cream.

The Skincare Benefits of Vitamin E

Since it’s a fat-based molecule - like an oil - Vitamin E works as an emollient on skin. It moisturises and greases up skin cells (on a microscopic level, mind you) so that they lie flat and even on the skin. This contributes to your skin feeling soft and supple - something I definitely appreciate from Vitamin E. 

However, that’s not the only thing it can do for skin - Vitamin E also brings antioxidant benefits to the table. Antioxidants are a fantastic addition to any skincare routine and come in so many different forms. What makes Vitamin E especially great is the fact that it plays off of Vitamin C incredibly well, creating a double-dose of skin rejuvenating and brightening antioxidant effects on the skin.

When it comes to making the most of this skincare ingredient, it’s best to stick with skincare formulas that have just the right amount of Vitamin E in them. Pure Vitamin E can be too much of a good thing - overzealous skincare DIYers may find their skin is more irritated than nourished after cutting open a Vitamin E capsule and applying the contents to their skin. 

However, this isn’t a problem with properly formulated skincare!

La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask product image on clear background
La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask | $250
This creamy mask makes use of one of the most potent forms of Vitamin E to nurture and protect your skin.

Does Vitamin E Help with Scarring?

Here’s the thing - you’ve probably seen Vitamin E oils out there that claim to help significantly reduce scarring. Unfortunately, the studies don’t support these claims, especially when compared to other products commonly used to heal scarring. However, that doesn’t mean Vitamin E doesn’t benefit the skin! 

As an emollient, it helps to support a healthy skin barrier, preventing dryness and supporting healthy skin. A healthy skin barrier is the bare minimum of what skin needs to perform all it’s functions - including heal and stay healthy. The bottom line with Vitamin E is that it’s fantastic for ensuring that your skin works as it should, but isn’t a miracle for preventing scarring. 

Properly used in a skincare formula, Vitamin E protects your skin from environmental stress - ensuring your skin looks younger for longer. 

Guerlain Abeille Royale Daily Repair Serum image on white background

Guerlain Abeille Royale Daily Repair Serum | $219
Vitamin E helps to moisturise and soften skin alongside the humectant abilities of honey and royal jelly in this serum from Guerlain. 

Still trying to figure out your perfect skincare routine? That’s where our skincare quiz helps - just let us know your skin type and concerns and we’ll put together a bespoke skincare routine, just for you!

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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