Vitamin E is found naturally in the skin in varying forms and is cleverly able to travel deep into the skin to the dermis. This is due to it being lipid-soluble and a powerful antioxidant in its own right, though when combined with others – WOW, it can have some punch!
Vitamin E is actually a little family – 2 parents, called either tocopherols or tocotrienols, with each parent enjoying 4 children each. The children do have the same names, which makes things a little confusing, however each one has a different job within the skin. This makes the Vitamin E group a very exciting and necessary additive to your skin care regime.
Luckily for us, most products already contain Vitamin E, but it’s best to check your labels anyway. Look for the parents – tocopherols and/or tocotrienols. They may or may not add the childrens’ names – alpha, beta, gamma or delta.
As a note, some people are intolerant of or allergic to various forms of Vitamin E oil, causing red, dry and irritated skin. If this is you, it will always be a process of elimination – every product has so many ingredients, it will be almost impossible to tell if it is the Vitamin E. This is another reason to avoid nasties in your topical face and body products, as they are often the culprits. For people allergic to Vitamin E, always patch-test first, if you can.
It is the Vitamin E oil that is added to products, in varying concentrations, and usually to moisturising creams. However, you will also find it in antioxidant serums and we are very lucky this is the case! Along with your other Vitamin A, B and C antioxidants, it is an essential part of all anti-ageing skin care regimes and, because these all work synergistically together, it’s best to use them all!!
There is continuing research into this amazingly hydrating and anti-ageing antioxidant, so following is some of the latest, noting that any one (or more) of the 8 forms may be responsible for each or any of its functions.
What does Vitamin E do?
Protects and repairs cell membranes from free radical damage.
Lipids in the cell walls are very easily damaged from these “bad” cells. When cell walls are damaged, water escapes more easily and you feel dry and tight, wrinkles are created more easily and your skin ages much more quickly than it would naturally.
Vitamin E works with Vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid as a recycling plant.
These latter two can restore a “used” or damaged Vitamin E molecule, reactivating it so it can continue to do its thing with its anti-ageing properties.
Regulates gene signalling.
This means that abnormal cell development, primarily from UV penetration, is slowed or ceased!! When UV’s from the sun enter the dermis, oxygen molecules are split into two – two free radicals. These then increase the rate at which your collagen breaks down, causing you to have more wrinkles and begin the sagginess we all hate around our jawline.
Slows melanin production.
Tyrosinase helps to create the melanin that causes the pigmentation or brown spots we see on our face, décolletage and hands. Vitamin E, along with other ingredients, helps to suppress its production. Even in low doses, it is effective – apparently, more effective than the traditional ingredients (kojic acid, arbutin and sodium lactate) used for treating our brown spots! This is due to its deep, natural penetration and its constant, regular delivery to these cells.
Vitamin E is really quite amazing isn’t it?
Check out your moisturiser to ensure you have this antioxidant in your regime. It will leave your skin softer, plumper, more supple and more even-toned. It will also mean you age more gracefully, with skin that is well-hydrated and looks and feels the best it can!
Still not sure?
If you need more help or would like personalised advice on what skincare products are best for you, book now for your consultation with a skin care advisor:
Or fill in the Online Skin Consultation and Meg, our dermal therapist, will happily help you to choose the right treatments and products for your skin type or concern.