Looking for natural ways to maintain healthy skin, vitamins are important to help maintain skin’s character and health. The best source of vitamins is from nutrient-rich foods, but vitamin supplements and topical products containing vitamins can also be beneficial.
Vitamins can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and the aging effects from sun exposure on your skin.
What is vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, vital nutrient with anti-inflammatory features. Vitamin E helps to boost the immune system, cell function, and skin health. It’s an antioxidant, making it useful at fighting the effects of free radicals produced by the metabolism of food and toxins in the environment.
Vitamin E may be helpful at reducing UV damage to the skin. It is also capable of reducing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and fatty liver disease, and slowing the progress of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin E is even used to open blood vessels, decreasing the risk of blood clots.
UV light and sun exposure decrease vitamin E levels in the skin. Vitamin E levels also decrease with age. Nevertheless, vitamin E is available in many foods, in complement form, and as an ingredient in products applied topically.
Vitamin E can be found in many foods, including:
- certain commercially processed foods, such as cereal, juice, and margarine
- abalone, salmon, and other seafood
- broccoli, spinach, and other green vegetables
- nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts
- vegetable oils, including sunflower, wheat germ, and safflower oil
Natural vitamin E in food is often listed as d-alpha-tocopherol on food labels. Vitamin E is also produced artificially. The artificial form of vitamin E is often referred to as dl-alpha-tocopherol. Natural vitamin E is more potent than its synthetic version.
Vitamin E can be absorbed even better when combined with vitamin C.
Amount of vitamin E needed:
Teens, adults, and pregnant women should consume around 15 milligrams (mg) each day, according to the National Institutes of Health. Breastfeeding women need around 19 milligrams. Infants, babies, and children require less vitamin E in their daily diet.
Most people who live in areas where healthy food is available get enough vitamin E from food.
People with ailments that affect their ability to digest or absorb fat may need more vitamin E. These conditions include cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease. For these people and others concerned about vitamin E intake, supplements may help. Vitamin E is an ingredient in many multivitamin and mineral supplements.
Vitamin E products:
People in the United States don’t need to supplement their diet with additional vitamin E. Eating foods rich in this nutrient is typically enough to support skin health. When taken orally, through food or supplements, vitamin E is passed to the skin by sebum, the oily secretions produced by sebaceous glands.
People with oily skin may have higher concentrations of vitamin E in their dermis and epidermis.
Oily areas of the skin, such as the face and shoulders, may also have higher concentrations of vitamin E than dry areas.
Taking vitamin E supplements may interfere with some cholesterol-lowering medications. It may also reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.
Vitamin E supplements can also interact with warfarin (Coumadin), a drug prescribed for preventing blood clotting.
Talk to your doctor about your use of vitamin E supplements prior to taking them, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Other vitamins and minerals for skin
Many other vitamins, such as D, C, K, and B, are also beneficial for optimum skin health. The best way to ensure that your skin gets the complete nourishment it needs is to eat a wide range of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein sources.