Your skincare routine just isn’t complete without some Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is something you hear a lot in health, cosmetics, hair care, and skin care circles. Just like its better known cousin, Vitamin C, we know that it’s good for us. However, do we actually really know why? And even when we do know its benefits, it’s sometimes tricky identifying it in those lengthy ingredient lists because it’s never listed as simply “Vitamin E”.
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll give you the rundown on what makes Vitamin E essential in skincare and how you can incorporate it into your everyday routine.
What is Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a naturally-occurring antioxidant that can be found in sebum. It is lipophilic meaning it dissolves in fats or lipids, making it easier for our skin to absorb.
Often listed as “tocopherol” on ingredient lists, Vitamin E boosts immune support, improves photoprotection and skin cell regeneration, and inhibits free radical damage.
Free radicals are unstable molecules caused by exposure to environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke, UV rays, and such. They can cause acne and also speed up the aging process by dealing direct damage to our DNA, proteins, and lipids.
Where can we find Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, avocados, and vegetable oils. It can also be obtained through topical treatments like facial oils, which are concentrated mixtures of nutrient-rich oils and antioxidants formulated to blend easily into the skin.
Benefits of Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is a particularly prominent ingredient in Korean skincare products, as evidenced by the consistent influx of new products with Vitamin E as their main selling point. There are several reasons why Vitamin E is so loved:
- Highly moisturizing: Vitamin E has emollient properties while the facial oil also acts as an occlusive. It softens the skin, prevents moisture loss, and also attracts moisture from the air and draws it into your skin, making it great for dryness.
- Potent Antioxidant: Vitamin E takes down free radicals responsible for premature aging signs like wrinkles, discoloration, and loss of skin elasticity.
- Improves the skin barrier: Oil-soluble vitamin E penetrates the skin better, allowing it to moisturize the deeper layers and absorb harmful UV light that can break down collagen fibers.
- Improves hyperpigmentation: When combined with vitamin C, vitamin E can improve dull skin tones, uneven complexions, and dark under-eye circles.
- Anti-inflammatory: Vitamin E has calming properties that soothe skin irritated from pollution or sun exposure.
Contrary to popular belief, Vitamin E oil does not prevent or minimize the appearance of scars, and has led to increased instances of contact dermatitis.
Who can benefit from Vitamin E oil
The thick viscosity of Vitamin E oil makes it ideal for dry or aging skin, but not for very sensitive or oily, acne-prone skin as it may block pores and cause breakouts. Instead, a lightweight serum may be better so that you can still get the benefits of the antioxidant without the breakouts.
When introducing any new product to your skin, always remember to do a patch test.
How to do a patch test: Take a small amount of the product and rub it into the inside of your wrist or your neck, where the skin is thin and sensitive. If you don’t see a reaction after 24 hours, you can go ahead and use the product on your face.
How to Use Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil can be mixed with carrier oils like jojoba, or rosehip for an overnight facial treatment, or can be used purely to spot-treat blemishes.
Pure vitamin E oil is thick and sticky, so it’s not recommended for daytime use under your sunscreen or makeup. Rather, it’s best used as part of a nighttime routine to allow the oil plenty of time to be fully absorbed by the skin.
Mixing and application
Vitamin E oil is best used on the face after cleansing and before applying toner. Mix 1-2 drops of Vitamin E oil for every 8-10 drops of carrier oil, then gently massage the mixture over your dry face. Alternate between massaging and patting your skin to make sure the mixture is absorbed well.
Tip: Do this at least 30 minutes to allow the oil to be fully absorbed before going to bed as Vitamin E oil may otherwise end up staining your sheets.
Recommended Korean Vitamin E Oil
Green Tea Seed Oil by Innisfree
Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Oil is derived from the extracts of green tea seeds and leaves which have 32 times the amount of vitamin E found in spinach. This non-greasy formula deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin and brightens the complexion.
How to use: Prime your skin with 3-4 drops of Korean Vitamin E Oil before applying makeup, or mix 1-2 drops into your moisturizer for an overnight sleeping mask.
Recommended Korean Vitamin E Creams
If creating your own facial oil mixture sounds too tedious, or if you have oily or acne-prone skin, fret not, for these lightweight, Korean Vitamin E-infused creams will do the trick for you.
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
Klairs’ Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask can be used as a daytime moisturizer, a mask, or a sleeping pack. It contains niacinamide, which brightens skin and controls sebum production; adenosine, an anti-aging ingredient that stimulates collagen production; and Vitamin E, which moisturizes and protects the skin from UV damage.
How to use: Use it as a daytime moisturizer, or combine it with an essence or cream to make a nighttime moisturizing mask.
NEOGEN x Joan Kim Vita Duo Cream
The Neogen x Joan Kim Vita Duo Cream is a day cream that contains green tea and vitamin C that brightens your skin tone and protects it from free radical damage, and a night cream that contains lavender oil and vitamin E which rejuvenates and restores the skin barrier.
How to use: Use it as a daytime moisturizer before sunscreen and makeup. For nighttime, apply it as the final step of your skincare regimen.
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX
Ideal for mature skin, Sulwhasoo’s Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX contains a mix of red ginseng, retinol, and vitamin E which fights the signs of aging, refines skin texture, and strengthens skin’s resilience.
How to use: Apply a moderate amount evenly across the face and neck. It can be used as both a day and night cream.
Vitamin E is a true powerhouse ingredient that helps keep skin youthful, nourished, and protected. With its range of benefits and flexibility of application, it certainly deserves a spot in any skincare routine, and through this guide, we hope we’ve shed some light on how you can integrate it into yours.
Love Vitamin E just as much as we do? Got a favorite Korean Vitamin E product you want to share with us? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!