Vitamin E For The Skin - How It Helps In Healing Scars
Facts about Vitamin E and its importance
- Vitamin E is composed of two basic components - Tocopherol and Tocotrienol
- There are four kinds of Tocopherols - alpha , beta, gamma and delta and corresponding four Tocotrienols
- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the effective functioning of the various organs such as reproductive organs, circulatory system and skin. It is also known to improve cardiovascular health
- Being a natural healing ingredient, Vitamin E supplements are used in the preparation of moisturizers, facial masks and topical skin applications for removal of post-pregnancy stretch marks or scars
- Vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant that safeguards tissues from oxidative stress (excessive free radicals) by neutralizing the free radicals.
Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin E and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun are sure fire ways to keep your skin healthy. In addition to these, taking vitamin supplements and antioxidants also help in maintaining a soft, smooth and youthful skin. Vitamin E is the most essential nutrient for developing and keeping a healthy skin.
While a large number of foods are rich in Vitamin E, there are supplements to this wonderful vitamin that helps in increasing skin health and quality.
Alpha Tocopherol is the most common form of Vitamin E present in abundance in oils. While the Americans get a higher dosage of Vitamin E from gamma tocopherol by way of soybean and corn oil, the Europeans get theirs from a diet containing olive oil and sunflower oil. Alpha tocopherol is the most common form of Vitamin E that goes into the manufacture of sunscreen and other commercial skin care products.
Medical experts recommend a dosage of 400 international units of Alpha tocopherol. The topical applications containing Vitamin E supplements penetrate the outer epidermis and the underlying dermis and get accumulated in the sebaceous glands. The Alpha Tocopherol is then transported to the skin surface by a specific physiological function.
When you take oral vitamin E supplements to enrich the skin, you tend to get only alpha and gamma tocopherols but when you use topical vitamin E applications, you benefit from a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols. This provides the body with a balanced amount of the supplements. So it is important to choose the right topical applications when you shop for a good vitamin E supplement.
Tocotrienol is present in oils such as wheat germ, rice bran, palm and cotton-seed and lettuce. Although both Tocopherol and Tocotrienol have similar properties, there are a few differences too.
- Tocotrienol has greater anti-oxidative properties than tocopherol
- Tocotrienol is present naturally in certain food substances such as barley, oats, rye, wheat germ and rice bran while Tocopherol is present in the Vitamin E supplements and is called the synthetic vitamin E
- Between the Tocopherol and Tocotrienol compounds, they vary in their anti-oxidative properties
Healing of skin after an injury
When there is an injury to the skin, the white blood cells rush to the site of the wound and fight the microorganisms. After medication, the scar of the wound becomes matured and dry after which the healing process starts.
Basic Fibroblast Growth factor (bFGF) regulates the production of collagen in the human body. Use of Vitamin E changes the bFGF levels and influences the scar formation process. Vitamin E creams topically applied over the wound helps in healing the site of injury faster and brings the skin back to normal condition.
Melanin is a pigment that influences the color of the eyes, hair and skin. It is produced by melanocytes, the cells at the base of the epidermal layer. An excess production of melanin results in hyper pigmentation. This causes a darkening or discoloration of the skin most often in the hands and back of the neck. Use of Vitamin E topical application helps reduce the effects of hyper pigmentation.
Vitamin E and free radicals
Free radicals are known to drastically alter the DNA composition of the cells thereby resulting in a variety of chronic diseases. Vitamin E is very effective in combating and neutralizing these destructive free radicals and helps in restoring a normal healthy condition of the body.
Foods rich in Vitamin E
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
- Pistachio, almonds, cashews and other nuts
- Peanut butter
- Vegetable oils such as wheat germ and rice bran oils
The recommended daily requirement of vitamin E in the US is 10 mg for men and 8 mg for women. There would be no necessity for oral vitamin E supplements if you eat a well-balanced diet as you get enough and more of the vitamin from a good diet.
Have you used Vitamin E oral supplements? If yes, have you found them effective?
We never want to appear old despite our age at any stage of our life. Aging occurs partly due to the loss of collagen and/or exposure to UV rays of the sun that affects your skin to a great extent. Vitamin E protects the skin from the harmful UV rays and also helps maintain the collagen levels so as to give a healthy and youthful glow to the skin.
Scars and stretch marks
Topical applications of Vitamin E are very effective in removing or at least fading the post-delivery stretch marks. But you should follow a regular system of applying the cream or oil on the stretch marks at least twice a day.
Vitamin E is therefore a very important part of every individual's attempt in looking younger and in maintaining the skin in a beautiful and healthy condition.