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Vitamin E is the ingredient your beauty routine needs for a glowy complexion — here's why

Skin experts share the valuable properties of this antioxidant.
Anna Kolesnikova / EyeEm / Getty Images

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Powerful antioxidants like pantothenic acid and peptides are regularly featured in your favorite skin care products, but one of the commonly used ones is vitamin E. This common active ingredient is found in many cosmeceuticals from serums to moisturizers and even some hair products — but what does it exactly do?

Shop TODAY asked dermatologists for their insight on how vitamin E can benefit your skin, along with ways to incorporate it into your regular beauty routine.

What does vitamin E do for your skin?

According to Dr. Michelle Henry, vitamin E is a potent antioxidant "which protects the skin from external aggressors and helps to protect the collagen and fight against accelerated aging. It also has emollient properties, so it will soften the skin and help fortify the skin barrier."

Also referred to as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate in beauty products, vitamin E can also "protect the skin from damage from free radicals, sun exposure and pollution," shared dermatologist Dr. Hadley King. When your skin is affected by skin radicals, it can cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA, which can lead to inflammation, aging and even cancer.

Who can benefit from vitamin E?

While vitamin E is tolerable for most skin types, King said it "is a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis and should be avoided by those who are sensitized." On the bright side, vitamin E delivers skin benefits such as wound healing, reducing wrinkles, alleviating eczema and more. In a 2016 study, vitamin E has also shown some effectiveness in reducing dark under-eye circles when used with other antioxidants like vitamin C and retinol.

Additionally, vitamin E can be beneficial for people experiencing sun damage. Henry suggested "using an antioxidant serum every morning, followed by a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum protection." This can help in preventing and protecting from photodamage as a result of regular UV exposure.

Both dermatologists also recommended implementing vitamin E with ferulic acid or vitamin C as they work together synergistically. Here are some shopper-approved products with vitamin E to soothe your skin and give it that extra moisture.

Top-rated vitamin E products for skin care

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

For those with rosacea-prone skin, this La Roche-Posay moisturizer will feel practically feathery on the skin. This is a great option if dry winter weather is taking away your skin's natural glow. One verified Dermstore shopper shared that their "skin has never been softer — I [even] keep touching my cheek out of fascination."

e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer

If you're looking for a budget-friendly formula, this vegan moisturizer from e.l.f. is ideal for all skin types. With almost 3,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, the tube contains a mix of jojoba oil, aloe vera and vitamin E to give you a healthy-looking complexion.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC's bestselling cleansing oil promises to eliminate a full face of makeup in just one step — yep, we're even talking about stubborn sticky mascara. Ideal for dry skin that craves extra moisture, the antioxidant-rich formulation fights free radicals without clogging your pores.

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum

For those with delicate skin, this Cetaphil eye serum will improve fine lines while hydrating your most sensitive areas. Aside from vitamin E, the formula contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to soothe dehydrated skin.

Kai Body Lotion

This luxurious body lotion contains an assortment of vitamins to nourish the skin. According to the brand, the added vitamin E "protects your skin by neutralizing free radicals" while dimethicone helps to smooth your skin.

Holifrog Tashmoo Water Lily Milky Wash

Calm lingering irritation and inflammation with this lightweight face wash from Holifrog. Made to protect your skin barrier from environmental irritants while allowing for long-lasting moisture retention, this product is great for when your skin needs some added hydration.

Klairs Freshley Juiced Vitamin E Mask

Thanks to a heavy helping of active ingredients like vitamin E and skin-brightening niacinamide, this bestselling facial mask aims to target cell aging and wrinkles. Along with its powerful properties, shoppers have also raved about its unique, pudding-like consistency.

One Love Organics Botanical E Youth Preservation Serum

This rejuvenating plant-based facial serum from One Love Organics helps in reducing the appearance of fine lines thanks to a powerful blend of vitamin E and antioxidant-rich sea botanicals. "Youth Preservation Serum is a 100 percent accurate title for this product — after only a few days of using it in just my morning routine, my skin was noticeably plumper and had an overall smoother texture," shared one verified Credo customer who gave this pick five stars.

Keep it Supple Moisturizing Body Oil

Spray this moisturizing body oil after a warm shower for a soft, supple, soothing effect. This is a great alternative if you don't like lathering up with heavier, stickier lotions and creams.

Beautycounter Counterstart Cocoboost Moisturizer

Get a whiff of the tropics with this hydrating blend of coconut oil and aloe vera during your beauty routine. With almost 1,300 verified five-star ratings, this Beautycounter moisturizer is packed with vitamin E to help protect your skin from environmental aggressors while delivering a non-greasy texture.

Melé Even Dark Spot Control Serum

Made specifically for melanin-rich skin, this serum is ideal for those with hyperpigmentation and looking to improve their skin's texture. The gentle triple active formula also helps to remove impurities without irritating the skin.

Neostrata Restore Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream

Aside from its nourishing vitamin E, one of the ingredients that make this face cream ultra-moisturizing is polyhydroxy acid (PHA) which helps to restore the skin barrier. "This hydrated and soothed my severely dry, irritated, and sensitive skin. It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave me shiny. This will definitely be one of my staples!" confirmed a verified Dermstore shopper who rated this option a glowing five stars.

Ghost Democracy Softglow Facial Oil

According to Henry, this moisturizing facial oil "is a combination of meadowfoam seed oil, cottonseed oil, which is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids." As a result, the non-greasy formula will leave your skin with a luminous glow.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

With over 3,500 five-star ratings on Dermstore, SkinCeuticals' C E Ferulic formula works on aging skin while repairing signs of wrinkles and photodamage. It's formulated with a pure form of vitamin E that replenishes skin lipids. Plus, most customers agree this product is worth the price tag. "When I use this I do not get sunburned either. I don't know why, but it seems to add extra protection under my regular sunscreen," shared one buyer.

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