vitamin e for skin care

Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage by providing them with a needed electron (replacing those stolen by free radicals). Because of its antioxidant activity, topical application of E can prevent visible signs of aging by reducing skin inflammation. Other proven benefits of vitamin E for skin include enhancing the efficacy of active sunscreen ingredients, reducing the formation of free radicals from exposure to UV rays, promoting the healing process, strengthening the skin's barrier function, protecting the skin barrier's lipid balance, and reducing transepidermal water loss.

Vitamin E is generally well tolerated, but it has been documented as a skin sensitizer that can instigate immune system responses such as itching and burning. In skin care, tocopheryl acetate is the most common form of vitamin E. The ester of acetic acid and tocopherol, it is often used as an alternative to pure tocopherol (or undiluted vitamin E) because it is considered more stable and less acidic. A natural skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant, tocopheryl acetate is FDA-approved and recognized as generally safe. However, it's important to note in what amount it appears in your skin care products in order to judge its benefits. If you see tocopheryl acetate listed at the very end of your ingredients list, then it is likely being used as no more than a preservative.

The following skin care products round out the ingredient of vitamin E with potent players such as peptides, antioxidants, other vitamins and botanical extracts. The result is balanced and highly effective anti-aging formulas that will repair, refresh and rejuvenate your skin.

Skin Care Products with Vitamin E

Kenneth Mark MD Antioxidant Cream with Astaxanthin ($120) lists tocopherol acetate (vitamin E) as the third ingredient, and adds astaxanthin, vitamin C (in two forms), copper and other mineral peptides and superoxide dismutase to its superb formula. It repairs damage caused by sun and pollution, prevents dehydration, decreases uneven pigmentation, prevents photoaging and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Medik8 CE-Tetra ($115 in the shop) offers a good dose of vitamin C with 7% vitamin C in the form of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. The "e" in CE is Tocopheryl Acetate, and together, these ingredients work to brighten hyperpigmentation, protect against free radicals and stimulate synthesis of new collagen and elastin, combat sun-induced skin damage and improve skin's texture and tone.

Prana Active Vitamin Lift Serum ($75 in the shop) adds vitamin B5 and vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) to tocopheryl acetate, and balances their formula with apple stem cells, peptides and botanical extracts. This serum aids in cell regeneration, combatting sagging skin and wrinkle formation.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm ($48 in the shop) is a waterless eye balm with a base of shea butter. Antioxidant pomegranate and raspberry combine with organic fennel, pomegranate, eyebright, ginseng and tocopherol to reduce puffiness, lift and plump the skin and provide continuous moisture throughout the day.

Astara Age Defying Complex ($85) contains a vitamin packed formula of niacin (vitamin B3), tocopherol, vitamin A palmitate, superoxide dismutase, ginkgo biloba, and aloe vera. It restructures skin's elasticity, stimulates cell renewal, deeply hydrates and encourages oxygenation for healthy, firm skin.

Amarte Wonder Cream ($97 in the shop) has a nutrient-loaded formula that includes tocopheryl acetate, selenium peptides, pearl powder, caviar extract, elemental sulfur and retinol 1.0%. It focuses on lightening freckles and sun spots, gently exfoliating for supple skin and a more even complexion.

Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop) is a peptide-based cream that repairs signs of aging and stimulates cell renewal with tocopherol, bee venom, copper peptides, coenzyme Q10, argireline and hyaluronic acid. It encourages collagen production while minimizing and softening lines and wrinkles.

My Prime Dynamic Serum ($75 in the shop). In addition to tocopherol acetate, there's Pepha-Tight, a microalgae complex that gives the skin a firm and toned appearance. This firming serum also softens and smoothes skin's texture with mangosteen and rosemary extracts.

Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop) is a lightweight, non-irritating facial lotion with high concentrations of vitamins C and E. There are three forms of stable and potent vitamin C, chosen for their stability and performance: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate/ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate/MAP and aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate/AAP. Added to this is vitamin E succinate, a specialized form of vitamin E that helps improve skin's elasticity.