Choosing skincare can be a toughie, but not when you know what to look for! That is why you guys are reading this post right, you want to be empowered to choose skincare that you know works. You don’t just want to rely on pretty advertising, you want to KNOW that it will help your skin to be its BEST-self. Today, I thought we would take a look at the benefits of Vitamin E, figure out why this lovely is in your skincare AND what happens when it waves its magic wand over your skin! PLUS, we will take a look at all the different kinds of vitamin E that you have to choose from! It’s a bit like chocolate you see, there’s not just milk!
VITAMIN E BENEFITS FOR YOUR SKIN?
Vitamin E’s main job role in life is to be an antioxidant. Fancy-smanchy job title ‘ey! Let’s get stuck into what that means, we know antioxidants are good for skin, so why? What do they do?
An antioxidant stops things from ‘going-off’. Ever taken your time eating an apple (probably transfixed by the likes of Matt Damon on TV *wink wink* ) and had it go a tad brown before you finished. Well that is called ‘oxidation’ and that techy term is more commonly known as aging! See that fleshy apple goodness wasn’t brown before we sunk our teeth into its peel, when we did, we let oxygen ‘get in’ on our apple loving. Oxygen is one of the main causes of aging because it makes things called free-radicals (you might also hear them called ‘reactive oxygen species’). Lots of tech talk for oxygen can cause damage to our skin.
Most things that cause damage to our skin (like too much sun) make these free-radical skin damagers. Free radicals are like a 2-year old who can’t sit still and is working on developing their attention span, they have so much energy, they don’t know what to do with it and ‘bounce off the walls’. That’s what these free-radical dudes are like. Vitamin E is the prefect friend for free radicals #BestBuds. When vitamin E is on your skin, it is the STRONGEST little ‘birdy’ in the nest, it will open its mouth THE WIDEST out of all the nest, so that it gets ALL the food, or in this case, all the free-radicals. That means that your skin has its very own body-guard from the free-radical dudes! #AntiAgingGod
PRO-TIP: Because oxygen likes to age things, it can also make your skincare less active. Its a good idea when your after active skincare, to choose a product that is not in a jar because that means your skincare ‘keeps its clothes on’ and doesn’t get X-rated exposure which make it age.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF VITAMIN E AND THEIR BENEFITS
Vitamin E doesn’t want to get lonely and there is a whole family of vitamin E’s. Here comes the Vitamin E family tree, pens ready *wink wink*, its not long I promise. There are 2 families, family 1 are called Tocopherols (traditional vitamin E) and family 2 are called Tocotrienols (Newly discovered powerhouse vitamin E). Each family has 4 very slightly different family members, but for skincare you don’t really need to worry about that as the best family member for skin is used.
THE MOST COMMONLY KNOWN FORM OF VITAMIN E – TOCOPHEROL
You will have no problem hunting for this one in your skincare, vitamin E will be found in more than 50% of skincare products, as this vitamin E is used to protect the skincare product when it’s in the bottle. See it multi-tasks your skin, but that doesn’t mean it loves it any less!
Vitamin E will be called either Tocopherol or Tocopheryl acetate in the skincare ingredients list.
You might hear that the natural form of vitamin E works best. That is absolutely true! It is 2 times more active than the vitamin E that is made by us. Luckily when skincare gurus formulate, this can be compensated for by adding 2 times more (wo/)man-made vitamin E. So when you’re choosing skincare it’s not something to worry about. Just look out for the name and bob’s your uncle for a vitamin E loaded yummy.
So what’s the difference between the 2 names? Well they have slightly different personalities, Tocopherol is like buying pre-made pastry, and Tocopheryl acetate is like buying the flour and butter. Skin has to work a bit (and that’s no bad thing! #PracticeMakesPerfect) as it means this version of vitamin E can get deeper into skin before it does its antioxidant ‘thang’!
THE POWER HOUSE VERSION OF VITAMIN E – TOCOTRIENOL
Tocotrienol is like vitamin E that’s gone down the gym and got PUMPED! This powerhouse is 40 to 60 X MORE effective than the Tocopherol version. This guy is just faster at getting the job done. The Tocotrienol version of vitamin E is an all-natural guy and you won’t find him on an ingredients list, instead you want to look for ingredients that contain him. This guy is a super-spy, there’s not even a code name, he just uses someone else’s!
These are the oils to look out for that contain the powerhouse of Tocotrienol: Blueberry seed oil (Vaccinium myrtillus Seed Oil), Oat oil (Avena sativa kernel oil), Poppy seed oil, Rice bran oil (Oryza sativa bran Oil), Wheat germ oil (Triticum vulgare), Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis). You may not find palm oil in many skincare products as there was a lot of un-sustainable sourcing that happened over the years, and it got a bad name, so its not a ‘go-to’ for skincare companies. Absolutely keep your eyes peeled for the others in your skincare and you’re onto an anti-aging winner (winner-winner chicken dinner?)
Because Tocotrienol doesn’t want to stop at being an antioxidant powerhouse, this one ALSO adds the skill of anti-inflammatory to its resume. That is awesome because when skin gets inflamed, also simply known as getting a bit puffy (!), there are chemicals the body releases that cause damage to skin cells around it. This guy waves his finger at those bad for skin chemicals and says ‘oh no you don’t’. It’s got some sass!
SNEAK PEAK: If you’ve caught up on what Honesty.For.Your.Skin is all about then you’ll know I am working away on some super skin loving skin yummies! One of these is an antioxidant powerhouse facial concentrate, it is packed with antioxidants, and one of them is the super powerhouse that is tocotrienol. I almost feel a bit intimidated to mention his name, this guys just too good at his job. When the antioxidant facial concentrate is ready for you lovelies I will be letting everyone who has signed up for the newsletter know with a special surprise!
Have you used Vitamin E skincare? Do you watch out for this ingredient in your skincare already?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.