Vitamin E is an excellent, immune-strengthening, antioxidant-rich nutrient that is good for the heart and for damage caused by free radicals, when eaten as part of a balanced diet. But there's another, lesser known benefit of Vitamin E that has nothing to do with eating it. If you want better skin, then you might consider taking Vitamin E and putting it on your face.
Vitamin E and Acne
Acne, whether in teenagers or adults, is an embarrassing condition brought on by a variety of things ranging from hormonal imbalance to diet. What's worse than the acne is what follows; the visible redness and inevitable scarring. On the Acne.org website, a site dedicated to reviewing products for acne, Vitamin E received rave reviews as a powerful tool against diminishing pock marks, scarring and even reducing the acne itself. Vitamin E's antioxidant powers might have something to do with these results. The National Institutes of Health recognize that Vitamin E plays a strong role in destroying free radicals, which are thought to age and blemish skin. So along with destroying the free radicals, Vitamin E applied topically is excellent for reducing redness and swelling in acne scars, along with conditioning and helping to balance the oils in the face.
What Kind to Use?
There are many lotions containing Vitamin E that are excellent for the face, but for the most drastic results it's best to use pure Vitamin E oil. Ideally, you want to find the highest concentration of pure Vitamin E oil in order to achieve the best results, but bear in mind that Vitamin E is a very thick oil which might feel extremely heavy on your face. If this feeling is uncomfortable, then dilute it with a few drops of olive oil. If this still does not feel good, then there are Vitamin E oils mixed with other types of oil, but bear in mind that this might not be as effective for your skin. If you cannot find a bottle of the oil, then look no further than the nutrition aisle for a bottle of Vitamin E pills. One or two pills should have just the right amount of oil necessary to cover your entire face--and they're portable.
Are There Any Risks?
Applying Vitamin E directly to your face should not have any harmful side effects, but to be safe, test a small amount of it on the skin on the inside of your elbow. If you have an adverse reaction like a rash or redness. then consult a doctor or allergist before using Vitamin E. If you have extremely sensitive skin, then you should definitely consider using the purest, high concentration of Vitamin E you can find. There are many concentrations available over the counter--just find the highest one and use it. As with most topical ointments and lotions, Vitamin E should not be used on an open wound.
How To Wear It
Since pure Vitamin E oil is rather thick and heavy, it makes an excellent face mask to wear to bed--just make sure you have something to keep it from staining your pillows. You will wake up with softer, brighter skin after a few nights of wearing it. Otherwise, you can mix a little Vitamin E into your sunscreen before going out, or mix a little into your daily moisturizer. It won't be too greasy and it will protect your skin all day long.
Other Than Acne, What Is It Good For?
As we had briefly mentioned before, the NIH fact sheet listed Vitamin E as a good tool against fighting free radicals. Antioxidants like Vitamin E protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. While that sounds like more of an internal issue, it does have an effect on your face. The face is constantly exposed to environmental free radicals like cigarette smoke, air pollution and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. What this means is prematurely aged and blemished-looking skin. Applying Vitamin E topically can moisturize the skin, shed the old-damaged cells and help repair the damage of these free radicals.
Before you put anything on your face, please consult a doctor or nutritionist. Vitamin E should be safe for most people and has not shown to have adverse side effects when used topically. There is ongoing research about the effect of Vitamin E on old scars, on psoriasis and a whole host of skin conditions that look extremely promising. Ultimately you are the best judge of what works for your face, and Vitamin E might be a cheaper alternative to many products on the market that promise you a healthy, younger looking face.