What is Vitamin E and why is it good for your skin?

Hannah Wilson

When people think of vitamins, they’ll often have images of jelly chews and herby-coloured capsules. What might not immediately come to mind is the fact that vitamins are integral components for skin health – vitamin E especially. 

Take a look at the products already in your skincare routine and chances are you’ll find this common vitamin listed among the ingredients. Vitamin E is run of the mill when it comes to topical skin products, which goes to show it’s a tried and tested wonder worker. 

With anti-inflammatory properties and restorative powers, this hydrating little vitamin is can curb the effects of many common skin concerns. Sounds good to us! In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about vitamin E and why it deserves a place in your beauty cabinet. 

If you'd like to skip ahead and get free advice from a Face Dr Skin Expert, tap the button to book your free video skincare consultation and receive expert product recommendations.


Alternatively, read on below for more information on Vitamin E.

What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E skincare ingredient

Vitamin E is actually the name for a group of eight oil-soluble antioxidants, one of which is called tocopherol. This is the skin saviour that you’ll find in most topical products and what it’ll most likely be listed as in the ingredients. So, keep an eye out for it!

Vitamin E occurs naturally in the human body and is found in many foods including seafood, vegetables and nuts. As such, it’s definitely on the list of more common vitamins and minerals. These easy-to-find ingredients are sometimes overlooked in favour of the more elusive acids and extracts. But take it from us, when it comes to skincare, sometimes basic is best. 

Fancy marketing aside, vitamin E is a miracle worker for our skin. However, it decreases in the skin with age and due to sun exposure, so it’s important to keep those levels nice and high.

Why is it so good for skin?

There’s a lengthy list of benefits this power packed vitamin delivers to our dermis. Whether you suffer with eczema (atopic dermatitis if you want to get technical) or are simply looking for something to repair and restore, vitamin E should be on your skincare shopping list…

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, which means it fights off harmful free radicals. Free radicals feed off the electrons in your skin cells, so think of vitamin E as a way to curb their hunger and give your skin the defence it needs against oxidative stress. This kind of damage is caused by environmental aggressors such as sun exposure (which we are all privy to) and pollution (for all you big-city dwellers out there). 

It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps boost skin health and cell function. Mix all that together and you’ve got a restorative recipe that’ll relieve dry, itchy or sore skin in a heartbeat. In fact, it’s so good it can be used to help the healing process of scars and burns. 

All in all, it’s a winner in our book. 

Are there any skin-types that should avoid vitamin E?

skin types that should avoid Vitamin E

It’s rare, but vitamin E can be an allergen for some people, so if you experience any adverse symptoms (itching, redness or a rash) then stop using the product immediately. 

It’s also a bad idea to use vitamin E products if you have excessively oily or acne-prone skin. This isn’t because of the vitamin itself, but rather due to the heavy oil form it most commonly comes in. Vitamin E oil is quite thick and could easily clog your pores, exacerbating any acne symptoms. For more advice on whether vitamin E is right for you, and on which products to choose, you can book in for a free video skincare consultation with one of our Skin Experts here.

That being said, it’s still a great moisturiser and even if you have acne on your back, face or arms, you should be safe applying it to problem areas only (such as elbows, knees and cuticles). 

How can I incorporate vitamin E into our skincare routine?

Moisturisers, body oils, sun creams and serums are all ways you can pack your skincare routine full of vitamin E. Whether you’re a seasoned vitamin E user, or you’ve never heard of the stuff it’s an easily accessible ingredient and you shouldn’t have trouble finding it in products. 

It comes in both synthetic and natural forms, but organic vitamin E is more potent so go for formulas with natural ingredients if possible. 

We recommend pairing vitamin E and vitamin C as the two complement each other and are actually stronger together. Vitamin E lasts longer in UV exposure and is better absorbed when it’s coupled up in this way.

Our Skin Experts recommend:

ZO Daily Power Defense is an effective antioxidant serum that works to lessen free-radical damage and promotes all-around skin health. It’s exclusive formula accelerates the skin’s natural ability to heal itself and to address environmental damage, especially from UV rays.

In summary

Vitamin E skincare ingredients Daily Power Defense ZO

Whatever avenue you go down to get more vitamin E into your skincare routine – be it an anti-ageing eye serum, a full-body moisturiser or an enhanced sun cream – rest assured that this powerful antioxidant will serve you well. 

If you have sensitive skin or suffer with acne and are concerned about using vitamin E, speak to a qualified dermatologist beforehand. There are plenty of clinicians out there who can advise what the best options are for your skin type.

Here at Face Dr, we offer online skincare consultations with our Skin Experts for free. Yep, you read that correctly. Take advantage of our team's decades of knowledge and experience at no expense. We only recommend products from trusted medical-grade brand partners such as ZO Skin Health or AllSkin Med, and once you’ve received your recommendation there’s no obligation to purchase. 

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