Vitamin E has extremely fascinating promise for skin care products. In fact, according to a study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, vitamin E has been identified as the “predominant lipid-soluble antioxidant” in murine (mouse) and human skin. As you age, your skin’s natural stores of vitamin E decreases drastically, due to the fact that your skin produces less vitamin E as you age, as well as the fact that aging skin has cumulatively encountered a great number of assaults and reduced its stores of vitamin E in the process of fighting off potential sources of damage.
But abundant stores of research demonstrate that vitamin E can be supplemented in the skin with regular topical application of the right serums, moisturizers, and other skin care treatments. However, it is important to note that not all vitamin E is the same in products. For what you need to look for in vitamin E skin care, read on!
How Vitamin E Works Within Skin Cells
Vitamin E is nature’s best lipid-soluble antioxidant. Numerous parts of the cell, including mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and plasma membranes, possess certain special affinity for vitamin E, which appears to accumulate at these sites to prevent or inhibit initiation of potentially skin-damaging oxidation.
According to a research study by Packer and Valacchi, vitamin E is produced in the sebum of the skin, so it comes from the pores of the skin. As such, vitamin E shows a characteristic gradient in the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of skin), with lower levels being found towards the outer stratum corneum layers. This makes sense, since the highest levels would be necessary in the stratum corneum to protect against UV damage, environmental pollution, and other external assaults.
When animals are deficient in vitamin E, these parts of the cell will undergo loss of activity. Because the organelles most affected by vitamin E deficiency are those that function to ensure normal metabolism and to defend the skin against environmental assault, supplementing the skin with vitamin E often provides benefit.
The Benefits of Using Vitamin E
- A naturally-produced antioxida
nt substance, vitamin E may help to protect against skin’s exposure to UV and environmental exposures to ozone. (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology)
- May help to protect against UVA light exposure. Studies have shown irradiating the skin with UVA light leads to a 10-to-15-fold increase in the amount of the collagen-degrading enzyme matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) mRNA. But use of vitamin E dramatically decreases the amount of MMP mRNA activity in the skin after UVA radiation (Cosmetic Dermatology)
- Helps to increase skin hydration
- Helps to increase skin’s antioxidant stores
- Helps to improve the overall look and feel of the skin
- Helps with the maintenance of collagen, and depletion of collagen cross-links. Firmness, texture, or tone of the skin are maintained by the integrity of the elastic fiber in the deep layers of the skin. A study of the skin of vitamin E-deficient rats indicated that their lipid peroxide levels were apparently higher than normal rats. These observations strongly suggest that vitamin E inhibits the formation of peroxides in the skin and may have some effect on the cross-linking of collagen. (Cosmetics and Toiletries)
Not All Forms of Vitamin E are Created Equal
In nature, vitamin E appears as tocopherols, of which the alpha form has the greatest potency. Interestingly enough, many natural products contain the less potent, unsterified form of vitamin E, found naturally in wheat germ oils and other vegetable oils. [Read more: What is the Difference Between Natural and Artificial Ingredients in Skin Care? – The AminoGenesis blog] This unsterified form of vitamin E must be converted to tocopheryl acetate and then tocopherol in the tissues for antioxidant activity to even begin.
Where to Find the Best Sources of Vitamin E?
Based on these studies, a strategy of using vitamin E could be very beneficial to aging skin. We recommend AminoGenesis Simply One™ 10 in 1 Skin Perfecting System . It is a superior daily all-in-one primer and moisturizer that is loaded with vitamin E; argireline (acetyl hexapeptide-8); alpha lipoic acid; hyaluronic acid; glucosamine; and amino acids like L-lysine, L-leucine, and L-proline that may help to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, sagging skin, and other signs of aging.