Different types of vitamins – including vitamin E – are important when looking for natural ways to achieve and maintain healthy and glowing skin. The best source of vitamins is foods rich in various nutrients. In addition, certain vitamin supplements can be useful to get enough vitamins that are necessary for beautiful skin.
In addition to improving the appearance of your skin, vitamins can be used to treat various skin conditions. This includes acne, psoriasis, and skin aging due to sun exposure.
In this article, we take a closer look at what vitamin E can do for your skin.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties. This vitamin helps to support the immune system, cell function, and skin health. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant, making it effective in fighting the effects of free radicals that arise from bad nutrients and environmental toxins.
This vitamin may be beneficial in reducing UV damage to the skin. It may also be effective in reducing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and fatty liver and used to slow the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. This vitamin is even used to widen blood vessels, reducing the risk of blood clots.
UV light and sun exposure lower vitamin E levels in the skin. Vitamin E levels also decline as we age. Fortunately, this vitamin is found in many foods, such as certain foods and supplements. This vitamin can also be applied locally to the skin – for example with the help of a cream.
This is what you need to know about this vitamin in foods
Are you curious which foods contain a lot of vitamin E? Then read on quickly – you will find some of them below.
Some examples of foods high in vitamin E are:
- Certain types of commercially processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, juice, and margarine
- Abalone (shellfish), salmon, and other seafood
- Broccoli, spinach, and other green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds and hazelnuts
- Vegetable vitamin E oils, including sunflower, wheat germ, and safflower oils
Natural vitamin E in food is often listed on food labels as “d-alpha-tocopherol”. This vitamin is also produced synthetically. The synthetic form is often referred to as “dl-alpha-tocopherol”. The natural version is more powerful than the synthetic version.
Vitamin E for your skin can be absorbed even better in combination with vitamin C.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin E
The amount of vitamin E you need each day is based on your age and gender. The schedule below can be found on the Nutrition Center website.
6-11 months: 3 mg per day
1-2 years: 4 mg per day
3-5 years: 5 mg per day
6-9 years: 6 mg per day
9-13 years: 8 mg per day
14-17 years: 10 mg per day
18 years and older: 13 mg per day
9-13 years: 7 mg per day
14-17 years: 8 mg per day
18 years and older: 11 mg per day
Pregnant women: 10 mg per day
Breastfeeding women: 11 mg per day
Most people who live in areas (such as the Netherlands) where healthy food is available to get enough of this vitamin from their diet.
People with conditions that affect their ability to digest or absorb fat may need more of this vitamin. These conditions include cystic fibrosis and Crohn's disease.
For these people and others concerned about the intake of this vitamin, vitamin E supplementation may help. This vitamin is an ingredient that occurs in many natural multivitamins and mineral supplements. Always discuss this with your doctor or a dietitian before you start taking a supplement.
Products with vitamin E
Vitamin E supplements
Most people in the Netherlands do not need to supplement their diet with extra vitamin E. Eating foods rich in this nutrient is usually sufficient to support skin health.
When taken orally, through food or supplements, this vitamin is delivered to the skin through the sebum. Sebum is the collective term for the oily secretions produced by the sebaceous glands.
People with oily skin may have higher concentrations of vitamin E. Oily areas of the skin, such as the face and shoulders, may also have higher concentrations of this vitamin than dry areas.
Topical, Topical Use Vitamin E for Your Skin
This vitamin is available in cream form and as an oil for topical use. It is added to many cosmetic products, including anti-aging creams, eye serums, sunscreens, and makeup.
This vitamin is easily absorbed into the skin. External use with the help of creams or other products can increase the amount of vitamin E in the sebaceous glands.
Products containing both vitamin E and vitamin C are less likely to lose their effectiveness when exposed to UV light. A study conducted by the Nutrition and Cancer Institute showed that topical use of this vitamin reduced acute and chronic skin damage caused by UV radiation.
Although vitamin E oil is very thick and difficult to spread on the skin, it can be an excellent moisturizer for dry, flaky areas of the skin. Products containing this vitamin as an ingredient may be easier to apply than pure vitamin E oil. Problem areas that are very dry, such as cuticles and elbows, may benefit from topical application of vitamin E oil or a vitamin E product.
Safety supplements with this vitamin
However, taking supplements can be risky, as large doses of vitamin E can inhibit the blood's ability to clot. This can cause serious bleeding. Bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) can also result.
A clinical study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that supplementation of this vitamin significantly increases the risk of developing prostate cancer in healthy men.
Taking supplements with this vitamin may interfere with some cholesterol-lowering supplements and medications. It may also reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments against cancer. So talk to your doctor about supplementing with vitamin E for your skin before starting – especially if you have underlying health conditions.
Other vitamins and minerals for your skin
In addition to vitamin E for your skin, there are many other vitamins, such as vitamins D, C, K, and B, that are also beneficial for optimal skin health. The best way to ensure that your skin is getting the complete nutrition it needs is to consume a wide variety of healthy foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein sources.
Vitamin D is typically absorbed through sun exposure. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, but most people can tolerate small amounts of sun exposure without negative effects. Talk to your dermatologist about this to determine how much time you should ideally spend in the sun each day.
Products containing vitamins and minerals can also help nourish the skin. Zinc applied topically and topically can help treat acne and accelerate wound healing. Niacin (Vitamin B3) can help keep skin hydrated and supple when applied topically.
Are you curious about additional information about preventing a vitamin E deficiency? Also read: Prevent a vitamin E deficiency