Ingestible skincare ingredient: Vitamin E—from being the ultimate antioxidant to protecting against inflammation

October 18, 2022

Vitamin E is a robust antioxidant that’s responsible for protecting against oxidative stress throughout the body, and one of the most important roles it plays is in our skin. But, a cursory review of its benefits reveals a paradox: while vitamin E is pivotal for skin health, the food sources that contain it can undermine our well-being when consumed in excess (like soybean oil, canola oil and corn oil). There is, however, a loophole: vitamin E supplements. Here, we explore vitamin E’s benefits for the face, skin and body overall—and why supplements are as important as topically applied vitamin E. 

What makes vitamin E one of the best supplements for skin?

In addition to vitamin C and vitamin A supplements, vitamin E supplements are equipped to deliver the full spectrum of vitamin E molecules that can be difficult to glean from diet alone. From tackling premature aging at the root to elevating skin hydration levels, here are the 4 ways taking vitamin E supplements can round out a skincare regimen. 

More youthful skin

While vitamin E is an essential nutrient for counteracting the aging process, our bodies’ reserves of vitamin E decline as we get older. Exposure to UV light, in turn, also pares down the content of vitamin E in our skin and contributes to photoaging. Photoaging can result in the hallmark signs of time-worn skin, including: 

  • Fine lines 
  • Wrinkling 
  • Skin roughness 
  • Dryness 
  • Lack of elasticity 
  • Hyperpigmentation 

Taking a supplement with vitamin E may serve to replenish our bodies’ internal levels. The result? Fewer signs of photoaging, and skin with greater resilience against the many forces that contribute to oxidative stress for overall body and skin health. 

Solar protection

Vitamin E may help to offset the results of photodamage—and some studies indicate that vitamin E actually lowers the impact of sun-to-skin contact in real-time. Vitamin E supplementation may shore up our bodies’ reserves, offering an extra degree of photoprotection to avert short- and long-term. 

Short- and long-term skin protection

Vitamin E is a powerhouse for reducing inflammation throughout the body. Its anti-inflammatory effects are particularly pronounced in the skin, where it can control: 

  • Swelling 
  • Erythema (redness) 
  • Edema (fluid retention) 

In addition to paring down skin inflammation, vitamin E is renowned for its ability to accelerate wound healing. Vitamin E supplements may help pare down skin’s inflammatory responses like sunburns and blemishes, imparting a clearer and more even skin tone and texture. 

Nourished, hydrated skin

Moisturizers are designed to deliver water and other nutrients to the skin through topical application. But it’s the internal structure of our skin that determines whether or not it’s able to absorb and retain moisture acquired through those external sources. 

Elevating our skin’s vitamin E content may fortify our skin’s ability to hold onto moisture—one of the single most important factors for fostering a dewy, glowing appearance from the inside out.

When it comes to vitamin E’s benefits for the face, supplementing not only reinforces our skin’s ability to stay hydrated, but it may also make the hydrating benefits of our skincare products even more effective. 

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice.    

References for this information: 
Oregon State University Website, Micronutrient Information Center 
Harvard Health Publishing, Staying Healthy 
ISRN Dermatology, 2013 
Pharmacognosy Review, 2010, volume 4, issue 8, pages 118-126 
International Journal of Biomedical Science, 2008, volume 4, issue. 2, pages 89-96 
National Library of Medicine Website, Clinical Trial 

More about skincare ingredients as ingestibles here: 
Ingestible skincare ingredient: Glutathione—is it a shady skin lightener or misunderstood skincare superstar for hyperpigmentation and fine lines?
Ingestible skincare ingredient: Phytoceramides—are they a ‘facelift in a bottle’ and the secret to radiant, firmer skin from the inside out?
Ingestible skincare ingredient: Vitamin A—the top 4 reasons why it’s a skin-saving superpower 
Ingestible skincare ingredient: Is burdock root the natural solution for everything from digestion to a clearer complexion?
Ingestible skincare ingredient: Grapeseed oil—the only ingredient you need on your supplement shelf for radiant, even skin?

About the Author

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Jacki Marzano is SoCal-based storyteller and head copywriter at Murad Skincare. She's shaped the voice of some of the most recognized beauty brands in the business, has a penchant for sharing homemade cookies, and believes SPF is the secret to getting carded well into your 40s.