Vitamin E is one of the most well researched and widely known antioxidants today. Regarded as an antioxidant “superstar”, this vitamin can be taken orally or used in the manufacture of skin care products. While there is no “best” antioxidant, vitamin E certainly does come close to this status due to its beneficial properties. The vitamin is fat-soluble and available in a variety of forms, with its most biologically active form being alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E is beneficial to the skin in various ways. It protects the epidermis from early stages of damage by ultra violet light, while also increasing the effectiveness of active ingredients contained in sunscreen. Vitamin E also reduces the formation of free radicals when the skin becomes exposed to UVA rays or other elements that cause stress to the skin.
This vitamin also aids in the prevention of fat peroxidation, a leading cause of damage to body cell membranes. It also reduces transepidermal loss of water from the skin, while strengthening its barrier function. Vitamin E also provides protection for the oil (lipid) balance of the skin barrier during the process of cleansing, while reducing the severity of sunburn.
Small amounts of vitamin E may be mixed with other skin-healing ingredients to produce products that are ideal for fading out scars. The vitamin is useful in skin-healing products as small amounts can work well in exerting antioxidant effects without the risk of contact dermatitis that is present when vitamin E is used in large amounts on the skin surface.