Aging is inevitable, and so are the signs of wrinkles, facial lines, and sagging skin. And while time will continue marching on no matter what you do, there are steps you can take to reduce, or sometimes reverse, the effects of aging.
There are many anti-aging products available and procedures to mitigate the signs of aging. And many products contain the popular ingredient, vitamin E.
In this article, we look at what vitamin E is, its effect on aging skin, and what products might work for you.
What is Vitamin E?
According to the National Institutes of Health:
Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant properties.
Vitamin E & Skin Effects
Vitamin E has long been used to expedite skin healing. According to a study published by the International Wound Journal, vitamin E consists of eight fat-soluble compounds that work together to defend cell membranes and maintain their structural integrity. Other studies suggest that the antioxidants in vitamin E speed up the rate at which minor wounds heal.
Many people swear by vitamin E’s ability to heal scars more quickly, but the data so far is mixed. A study published by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal says that, while it’s been a standard practice to prescribe vitamin E creams and ointments for post-surgery scar prevention and healing, there is little evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness. However, further studies are warranted.
The consensus seems to be that regarding scar healing, applying a vitamin E creme may or may not help, but it’s generally safe enough to try if you consult with your doctor or dermatologist first.
Many factors contribute to aging skin and its appearance, one of which is oxidative stress, which results from free radical damage. Numerous studies show that oxidative stress contributes to aging and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, neurogenerative diseases, and cancer.
Because vitamin E contains antioxidant capabilities, it helps fight the damage caused by free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress and aging.
Protects Skin From UV Damage
One of the most significant factors contributing to premature aging or photoaging is sun exposure or UV exposure. While many people think getting a deep suntan is healthy, the opposite is true.
Unlike the signs of aging that come from genetic factors and the passage of time, photoaging happens when skin becomes permanently damaged through repeated UV exposure through sunbathing, tanning, and being outdoors without sufficient protection.
Evidence shows that applying vitamin E creams to your skin may protect it from damage caused by UV exposure.
Now, that’s not to say you can rub a cream containing vitamin E on and call it a day; you still must be smart about how much time you spend in the sun and avoid tanning beds and tanning altogether if you want to keep your skin young-looking for longer.
Vitamin E & Skin Care
Although the research into the effects of vitamin E on your skin, many dermatologists still recommend it.
According to dermatologist Dr. Kassouf MD
It probably makes moisturizers work better, but it’s unclear in most studies if it has a direct medicinal role. Its effects are fairly subtle.
Using moisturizers with vitamin E can help your skin remain hydrated, protect your cells from damage, and keep your skin feeling soft.
Also, there’s some evidence that vitamin E can protect your skin against sun exposure because it absorbs UV rays. However, experts say you shouldn’t throw your sunscreen out and replace it with vitamin E creams because it doesn’t protect against UVA light, leading to skin cancer through repeated exposure.
If you suffer from dry, flaky skin, some dermatologists recommend rubbing pure vitamin E oil on it because it keeps your skin hydrated. However, if you suffer from acne, you probably don’t need extra vitamin E because you’re getting enough through the body’s production of sebum.
Also, for those who suffer from dry skin, Dr. Kassouf says they can try using a moisturizing product that contains vitamin E. Many of these products don’t advertise vitamin E on the label but call it tocopherol or tocotrienol.
If you can find a product that also contains vitamin C and vitamin E together, it’s all the better because they’re more effective at fighting free radicals.
We’ve talked about using vitamin E in creams and moisturizers, but there are also health and skin benefits to getting it through your diet and supplements.
Although they are still looking at the data, there is some initial evidence that consuming foods rich in antioxidants can protect your skin from sun damage.
Sources for natural vitamin E are:
- Sunflower seeds and oil
- Corn oil
If you want to supplement your intake through vitamin e capsules, you should stay within the recommended daily allowance because too much of a good thing can be bad for your health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most people get enough vitamin E from eating a balanced diet, but overusing supplements may increase the risk of prostate cancer and can be risky for people who have had a stroke or heart attack.
If you want to take a vitamin E supplement, consult your doctor beforehand and ask them what they recommend as a safe daily dose.
Best Vitamin E Creams
Now that we’ve seen some of the benefits you can get through vitamin E topical agents, and your diet, let’s dive into what products are worth considering.
Bio-Oil Skincare Body Oil Moisturizer
Bio-Oil Skincare Moisturizer gives you the benefits of vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which provide antioxidant protection. Also, vitamin A oil helps your body form collagen, which increases skin elasticity to reduce the signs of aging. Other vital ingredients include chamomile, sunflower, and lavender oils, which are anti-inflammatory.
Topical oils have been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and promote healing. Although most of the benefits come to us via folklore, Bio-Oil has been submitted to clinical trials and shows that it can decrease the signs of stretch marks and scars in some cases.
Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Skin Care Cream
This vitamin E skin creme contains aloe vera, wheat germ, sunflower seed oil, collagen, and elastin, which works to help skin improve and maintain its elasticity.
Fruit of the Earth’s skin cream isn’t just for faces. You can use it on your body as well.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream
One facial area that can make us look older than we are is around the eyes. Whether puffiness or dark circles, these problems can worsen as we age.
The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Eye Cream contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to make the skin around your eyes feel smoother and reduce the appearance of fine lines and crow’s feet.
Jason Jason Vitamin E Skin Oil
This product contains natural oils from almonds, sunflowers, apricots, avocados, and wheat germ to make your skin feel softer, and it’s perfectly suited for dry skin.
Mad Hippie Triple C Night Cream
Despite the funny name, Mad Hippie Triple C Night Cream is ideal for various skin types and features three forms of vitamin C and tocotrienol or vitamin E.
As the name implies, use this product before going to bed so you wake up with smooth, hydrated skin.
Super Bloom Vitamin C & E Serum
If you suffer from age spots or other blemishes, this may be the product for you because it contains vitamin C and E to reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation and brighten your skin.
Also, the antioxidants in C and E help your skin form a barrier against the damage caused by UV rays and sun exposure.
What to Look for in a Skin Care Product
We’ve seen how certain ingredients in skin care products can improve how our skin looks and feels, but it’s challenging to know what to look for with so many options available.
As mentioned, vitamins and antioxidants play a crucial role in the overall health of your skin, so here are the most potent ones to check out.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that gets much praise from dermatologists because of its ability to brighten skin. Vitamin C comes in many forms and names, but the most common you’ll probably see is ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
It is often called the longevity molecule because of its many health benefits. It’s a naturally-occurring antioxidant that comes from grape skins and other berries. And like other antioxidants, it protects your skin from UV damage.
Many dermatologists also recommend resveratrol because of its anti-aging properties like reducing skin redness and irritation.
Niacinamide is also known as B3 and is commonly used in skin care products because it acts as a multivitamin to brighten skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
As we’ve seen earlier, vitamin E is another popular ingredient found in products to maintain healthy skin and fight the effects of aging.
Vitamin E is known for its ability to help skin heal, and you can find it in practically every moisturizing product at the drug store.
Maintaining Good Skin Health
You’ve no doubt heard the expression that beauty is only skin deep and that it’s what matters on the inside of us. And that might be true philosophically, but the fact is that people judge us on how we look.
So, you must maintain healthy skin throughout your life, not just for vanity, but for overall health too, because there’s more to the skin than meets the eye.
Your skin protects your body in various ways, such as:
- Protection from bacteria
- The nerve endings allow you to feel pain so you can move away quickly
- Sweat glands under the skin keep you from overheating
- Redness or irritation can alert you about underlying health problems like allergies, or lupus
As you can see, it’s essential to your overall health to treat your skin with love.
Let’s look at the things you can do to keep your skin healthy and put off the effects of aging as long as possible.
When people think about keeping their skin healthy, they think about washing and using the right skincare products, which is all well and good. But, the first step in maintaining healthy skin throughout your life is to eat a healthy diet.
Most experts agree that eating a diet that’s more plant-based with lean proteins and whole grains is essential for your overall health and skin health.
You should eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E to give your hormones the natural boost they need to repair the damage from day-to-day living.
Lastly, it’s also crucial that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water helps you remain hydrated, which benefits your skin, and provides numerous additional benefits, including better mood, boosting brainpower, and fighting disease.
So, how much water do you need? Well, it depends.
According to Harvard Medical School:
The daily four-to-six cup rule is for generally healthy people. It’s possible to take in too much water if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for how much water a person should drink every day, so it’s best to ask your doctor.
We’ve all heard that stress is worse for our health than smoking, which seems to be borne out by the research.
Stress is incredibly damaging to the body, including your skin, and can cause conditions like acne to become more prominent.
So, even though you can’t eliminate stress from your life, there are things you can do to mitigate its effects, including:
- Meditating, breathing, or prayer
- Taking a short walk when you’re feeling anxious
- Exercising regularly
Limit Your Sun Exposure
As we’ve seen earlier, the sun isn’t particularly good for your skin in large doses. Yes, we get much-needed vitamin D from the sun, but spending too much time out in it doesn’t only lead to premature aging, but getting too much sun is a significant cause of skin cancer.
If you must be out in the sun, protect yourself with sunscreen and sunglasses.
It should go without saying that smoking is bad for your entire body, including your skin. Smoking is so bad for you that many younger smokers look older than their non-smoking counterparts.
Smoking, like alcohol, can decrease your circulation, making your skin appear pale and washed out, and it can damage the fibers that help the skin to help keep its elasticity.
As you can see from this list so far, everything recommended for skin health applies to your overall health.
Getting regular exercise improves the flow of nutrients throughout your body, and the increased blood flow helps remove toxins that can damage your skin and cause premature aging.
Be Gentle Cleaning Your Skin
Lastly, it’s crucial to maintain healthy skin that you clean every day. But, there’s a right way and a wrong way to cleanse your skin.
Too many people think that by scrubbing hard, they get more dirt out, but what that does is cause redness and irritation because harsh scrubbing wears skin away.
For best results, you’ll want to wash your skin with gentle cleansers that are hypoallergenic and safe for all skin types. Also, pat your face and body dry instead of being too rough with the towel.
When you’re finished with washing and drying, use a good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, soft, and flexible.
The key to looking younger means starting to take care of your skin early in life and avoiding many of the bad habits that lead to premature aging, like eating an unhealthy diet, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol.
However, if you’ve neglected your skin when you were younger, it doesn’t mean you can’t undo or soften some of the aging results.
It’s never too late to start treating your skin right so you can start looking and feeling better.