Research has shown that over 50 million Americans have experienced some form of acne problem at least once in their lives. That means that nearly one in every five people has gone through the ordeal of acne and the confidence knock that comes with it.
And yet, unlike the millions of people who suffer from acne, there are those out there who don’t have to think about how long severe acne scars on their face will last, why they have acne again, or if that expensive laser therapy will finally work. They try every acne treatment under the sun.
But there is a silver lining. People who struggle with acne also learn about a wealth of nutritious ingredients and naturally-based products that help achieve healthy, younger-looking skin. Some of these ingredients boost overall health, while lifestyle changes associated with acne prevention also help us reduce stress and achieve better sleep.
Acne pushes people to learn more about how their bodies work and shift towards a healthier lifestyle. One precious piece of the puzzle is vitamin E. Is it a miracle cure for acne? No. But does it have a number of health benefits, especially for your skin? You bet.
Here's why you should use vitamin E for acne.
Vitamin E is not a single ingredient but a group of chemical compounds mostly found in leafy greens, oils, and vegetables. Scientists refer to it as a ‘fat-soluble’ antioxidant, which is fancy science speak for ‘it gets stored in the fatty tissues.’ From there, vitamin E moves around the body thanks to the lymphatic system channels and the blood vessels.
Depending on the method of consummation, vitamin E’s lifecycle in the body changes. For example, if you ingest it by eating foods rich in vitamin E, this precious little antioxidant will keep a lot longer in your body. And being an antioxidant-packed with anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin E is tasked with mopping up harmful free radicals around the body. This vitamin is crucial in maintaining skin health and encouraging the skin's natural regeneration process, which makes it useful in preventing or alleviating inflammatory acne. Vitamin E achieves that by increasing blood flow, reinforcing cell membranes, strengthening muscles and the heart, and more.
Like other vitamins, vitamin E has been praised since its discovery as one of the most important contributing factors to bodily health. It's commonly prescribed for preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cataracts. And while its direct effects on acne have yet to be experimentally verified, vitamin E has already been shown to have major health benefits for vitamins and healthy skin.
Vitamin E has quite a stellar reputation for treating skin conditions and active acne breakouts. And with good reason - the oil component of vitamin E is one of the most powerful moisturizers available. Many brands use vitamin E and its oil in their beauty and skin care products because its moisturizing component allows your skin’s natural oils to remain on the skin instead of drying out.
Vitamin E is also routinely used to alleviate and treat severe skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. But while vitamin E sounds good so far, is it good for everyone?
Some people avoid vitamin E, especially if they already have oily or unusually oily skin. The texture of vitamin E oil is greasy, thick, and paste-like, so people with oily skin might want to refrain from using vitamin E oil for acne spots. The thick texture of the oil can form a layer over the skin, isolating it from the air and increasing the harmful greasiness that makes anaerobic bacteria grow.
Vitamin E oil may even be essential for people with dry or extra dry skin. As mentioned above, vitamin E doesn’t just add its own oil to the skin but retains your natural skin’s oil, preventing it from evaporating. This property of vitamin E oil makes it especially well-suited for treating chapped, damaged, or dried-up skin.
When treating acne vulgaris, vitamin E oil can be especially soothing to use after the affected area of the skin has been cleansed.
One of the most common uses of vitamin E is in treating skin discoloration, such as dark spots or even scars, as a consequence of acne. Many of us have fond childhood memories of our parents rubbing pure vitamin E oil from a tube on our knees or elbows after a nasty cut. That’s because vitamin E is very effective in helping our bodies repair themselves, making short work of cuts or lacerations. For that reason, vitamin E is commonly used to close wounds in the hope of preventing scar tissue.
So how does it work? Well, the compounds of vitamin E assist the body in the process of forming collagen - the building block for cellular membranes. Additionally, collagen is also the component that gives healthy skin its elasticity and flexibility, making it endure more damage without permanent scarring.
It’s not just good, but extremely good for skin health when it comes to sunburn - and it’s proven by science. A study found that the antioxidant properties of vitamin E, in combination with vitamin C, glutathione, uric acid, and ubiquinol, all come together to enhance the body's DNA enzyme repair systems.
These DNA enzyme repair systems protect skin from harmful carcinogens, such as prolonged exposure to UV rays. This implies that our skin is receptive to the healing factors present in vitamin E. These factors are potent enough to repair heavy damage at the DNA level, reducing the risk of skin cancer.
If vitamin E can do that much healing to our skin, it can surely help us overcome acne vulgaris more easily.
Vitamin E is one of the so-called essential vitamins. Essential vitamins, as opposed to non-essential ones, are not naturally produced by our bodies. This means we need to take vitamin E and its oil from external sources - either by eating foods rich in vitamin E or applying topical vitamin E on our skin.
As with any other oil, applying vitamin E oil is pretty straightforward. Just wash your face first. However, don’t wipe it too well or dry it too much - vitamin E oil works best when applied to slightly moisturized skin. Take a cotton swab, apply some vitamin E oil on it, and spread a thin layer of the paste over the desired area of the skin.
A word of advice: to maximize the effectiveness of vitamin E oil, it's best to apply it at night before going to sleep. This is because our bodies do most of their reconstructive and regenerative work while sleeping. Deep rest leaves time and energy for our skin to begin repairing itself, which is when we can apply vitamin E oil most efficiently. To clean it off, wash your face with lukewarm water in the morning.
As we mentioned in the introduction, vitamin E has a maximized lifespan in the body when it is ingested through foods. So on top of applying topical vitamin E oil once in a while, you could also try to boost your body’s vitamin E levels internally. Introduce foods rich in vitamin E in your diet. Some of these are:
You don't just have to feast on olive oil and nuts. You can also get vitamin E supplements or vitamin E capsules for a quick boost. Some people even recommend rubbing vitamin E capsules on acne-prone skin and acne scars to improve overall skin health.
To make vitamin E even more efficient, combine it with vitamin C foods or supplements. When taken together, vitamins E and C enhance the body’s immune system response and trigger processes that protect your heart’s health.
Most foods naturally rich in vitamin E also boast hefty doses of vitamin C, such as leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, lemons, and oranges.
As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Contrary to popular belief, it's possible to overdose on vitamin E and create a number of health problems.
Exceeding the recommended dose of 1500 IU of vitamin E per day can cause bleeding problems, vitamin K deficiency, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Never exceed the recommended dose. If you are experiencing any adverse side effects, consult a doctor immediately.
If you're serious about using topical vitamin E for skin care as an acne or acne scar treatment, we recommend introducing it into your existing skin care routine or using it alongside standard acne treatments.
Remember, this vitamin isn't recommended for oily skin. So if you have acne-prone skin and you're looking for a reliable routine that works, try Misumi's Clear Skin Duo Kit. The toner and cleanser in this set will whisk away dead skin cells and encourage skin cell regeneration, keep your skin hydrated without it being greasy, calm skin irritation, and treat acne lesions.
Can too much vitamin E cause acne?
While vitamin E is known to have numerous benefits for overall skin health, excessive intake of oral vitamin E supplements may lead to an imbalance in your body. This imbalance can potentially make acne worse, especially for individuals with sensitive skin. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation to determine the appropriate dosage for your needs.
Which vitamin is best for acne?
There is no single "best" vitamin for acne, as the condition may be influenced by various factors. However, some vitamins are beneficial in promoting overall skin health and reducing acne. These include vitamin A, which helps regulate sebum production and cell turnover, vitamin E, which possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamin C, which supports collagen production and reduces inflammation. It's important to maintain a well-balanced diet and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Is vitamin E bad for hormonal acne?
When taken in appropriate amounts, vitamin E can be beneficial for overall skin health, including hormonal acne. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne spots. However, each individual's skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional to discuss your specific skin concerns and create a customized treatment plan.
If you're serious about treating acne, you'll have tried every remedy under the sun. Vitamin E and vitamin E oil are not a fast cure-all for acne, so you shouldn’t expect miracles. However, vitamin E is extremely beneficial in repairing skin damage and alleviating some skin conditions, making it great as an acne treatment.
People with oily skin should avoid vitamin E oil, while people with dry skin will probably find it useful and soothing. If you’re unsure of your skin type or whether this vitamin will suit your skin, consult a dermatologist.
So should you add this vitamin to your skincare routine? Absolutely.