Research has shown that over 50 million Americans have experienced some sort of acne problems in their life. That means that nearly 1 in every 5 people has gone through the ordeal of questioning their self-worth intensely, perhaps for life.
Unlike the millions upon millions of people who suffer from acne, some people don’t have to be thinking how long the severe acne scars on their face will last, why they're having acne again, or if that expensive laser therapy will finally work. They also don’t have to worry if other people find them unattractive, ugly or even simply offputting because of those annoying, little red pimples all over their face.
But there is a silver lining. People who struggle with acne also get to learn about a wealth of nutritious ingredients and naturally-based products that help achieve healthy, younger looking skin. And not just that, some of these ingredients boost overall health, while lifestyle changes associated with acne prevention also help us reduce stress and achieve better sleep.
Like a blessing in disguise, sometimes acne pushes people to learn more about how their bodies work and shift towards a more healthy lifestyle. One such precious piece of the puzzle is Vitamin E oil. Is it a miracle cure for acne? No. But does it have a number of health benefits, especially for your skin? You bet.
Vitamin E is actually 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 ingested it by eating foods rich in Vitamin E, this precious little antioxidant will keep a lot longer in your body. And being an antioxidant, Vitamin E is tasked with mopping up the harmful free radicals around the body. This means that this vitamin is crucial in maintaining skin health and regeneration, which makes it useful in regards to preventing or alleviating acne inflammations. Vitamin E achieves that by increasing blood flow, reinforcing cell membranes, strengthening muscles, the heart, and so on.
Much like other vitamins, Vitamin E has been praised since its discovery as one of the most important contributing factors to bodily health. It is 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 when it comes to vitamins and healthy skin.
Vitamin E has quite a stellar reputation when it comes to treating skin conditions and acne. And with good reason - the oil component of Vitamin E is one of the most powerful moisturizers out there. 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. Additionally, Vitamin E oil is routinely used to alleviate and treat even severe skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. But while Vitamin E oil sounds good so far, is it good for everyone?
Some people avoid the oil of Vitamin E, especially if they already have oily or unusually oily skin. The texture of Vitamin E oil is usually greasy and thick, almost paste-like, so people with oily skin might want to avoid using Vitamin E oil for their acne. The thick texture of the oil can form a layer over the skin, isolating it from the air and in a way increasing the harmful greasiness that would make the anaerobic bacteria grow.
On the other hand, however, Vitamin E oil may be even essential for people who have dry or extra dry skin. As we already mentioned above, Vitamin E oil 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 in treating chapped, damaged or dried up skin. When treating acne, 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 oil is in the treatment of skin discoloration such as dark spots, or even scars, as the consequence of acne. Many of us have fond childhood memories of our parents rubbing a bit of Vitamin E oil from a tube on our knees or elbows after a nasty cut. That’s because Vitamin E oil is very effective in helping our bodies repair themselves, making short work of cuts or lacerations. It is exactly for that reason that Vitamin E oil is commonly used for closing up 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.
And it’s not just good, but extremely good - and it’s proven by science. A study conducted in 2012 found that the antioxidant properties of Vitamin E in combination with Vitamin C, glutathione, uric acid, and ubiquinol all come together in enhancing the DNA enzyme repair systems of the body. These DNA enzyme repair systems keep skin protected from harmful carcinogens, for example, prolonged exposure to UV rays. This implies that our skin is receptive to the healing factors present in Vitamin E oil and that these factors are potent to even repair heavy damage even at the DNA level. If Vitamin E oil can do that much healing to our skin, it can surely help us overcome acne 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 that we need to take Vitamin E and its oil from external sources - either by eating foods rich in Vitamin E or applying Vitamin E oil directly on our skin.
As with any other oil, the application of Vitamin E oil is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is, of course, 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. Then, 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, though: in order to maximize the effectiveness of Vitamin E oil, it is best to apply it at night before going to sleep. This is because our bodies do most of their reconstructive and regenerative work while we are sleeping. Deep rest leaves time and energy for our skin to begin repairing itself, and this is the time when we can apply Vitamin E oil most efficiently. To clean it off, just 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 some Vitamin E oil locally once in a while, for example, you could try to boost your body’s Vitamin E levels. To do this, you should introduce foods rich in Vitamin E in your diet. Some of these are:
In order to further make Vitamin E more efficient, your best bet is to combine it with Vitamin C or foods rich in it. When combined, Vitamins E and C enhance the body’s immune response and trigger processes that, for example, even protect your heart’s health. Usually, most foods rich in Vitamin E boast hefty doses of Vitamin C as well, such as leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, lemons, and oranges, so you should be all good.
As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Contrary to popular belief, one can actually overdose on Vitamin E and create a number of health problems for oneself.
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, and if you think you’re experiencing any adverse side effects - consult a doctor immediately.
Vitamin E and Vitamin E oil are not a fast cure-all for acne, so you shouldn’t expect miracles. However, Vitamin E and Vitamin E oil have been shown to have extremely beneficial results in repairing skin damage and alleviating some skin conditions. When dealing with acne, Vitamin E oil should be avoided by people with oily skin, while people with dry skin will probably find it very useful and soothing. If you’re not sure of your skin type, or whether Vitamin E or Vitamin E oil will be appropriate for your skin, consult a dermatologist.