From blueberries to acai bowls, antioxidants are well known for their health benefits, and they're becoming more recognized for what they can do for the skin, too. Vitamin E is one of the most popular antioxidants, especially for drier skin types. But what does Vitamin E do for skin, exactly? Dive in for a closer look at Vitamin E's benefits and how to add it to your skin care routine.

The Benefits of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important nutrient for your entire body. It plays an integral role in the healthy function of your brain, eyes, reproductive system, blood, and skin. Its antioxidant properties also support your body's defense against free radical damage, which increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and visible signs of aging over time. You can find Vitamin E in many everyday foods, including almonds, olive oil, leafy greens, fortified cereals, and dairy.

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What Does Vitamin E Do for Skin Health?

Vitamin E protects the skin from free radical damage and delivers essential hydration to your skin's deeper layers. When applied topically, Vitamin E's defensive powers can prevent signs of premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. As a humectant and emollient, it's commonly used in body lotions and moisturizers to attract and retain water in the skin and support skin barrier function. This makes it ideal if you have dry skin or are prone to sensitivity, eczema, or dry patches.

How to Add Vitamin E to Your Skin Care Routine

While it's a common ingredient in moisturizers, you can add Vitamin E to your skin care regimen through a variety of products.


An antioxidant-packed cleanser is a great way to kick off your skin care routine, removing dirt and impurities and providing free radical protection in one go. For example, EltaMD Oil-in-Gel Cleanser deeply cleanses pores and lifts away long-wear makeup and sunscreen. It also preserves the delicate skin barrier with hydrating Vitamin E and Meadowfoam Seed Oil. The result? Skin that feels clean and soft—not squeaky or tight.


Serums are a great addition to any skin care routine. Their small molecular structure helps deliver active ingredients, such as antioxidants, to the deeper layers of the skin so they can protect and hydrate your skin throughout the day. Apply a serum like EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum after cleansing and before your usual moisturizer to strengthen, renew, and defend your complexion.


Everyone should use moisturizer regularly, no matter their skin type. This step is particularly essential if you have dry or eczema-prone skin to seal in moisture and your other products' restorative ingredients. Try a lightweight formula with Vitamin E during the day and something a little richer before bed when your skin has time to absorb it fully. If your skin feels compromised, an overnight mask like EltaMD Skin Recovery Night Mask can help minimize redness, soothe sensitivity, and rebuild the skin barrier. With the added defense of Vitamin E, you'll wake up ready for whatever the day has in store.


Sunscreen is arguably the most important step in your morning routine. And when it's enriched with antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C, it can do its job even better. While chemical and mineral blockers help protect your skin from sunburn, photoaging, and skin cancer, antioxidants boost sunscreen's protection power.

Vitamin E acts as an extra form of environmental protection. It can also help reverse and manage any subsequent skin damage by neutralizing free radicals and stopping visible damage before it becomes permanent. If you're looking for the best sunscreen with Vitamin E, try EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. Suitable for all skin types, this 100 percent mineral formula boasts Vitamin E and Vitamin C plus Squalane and Ginger Root to restore the skin's natural moisture and improve skin tone and texture.

Vitamin E to the Rescue

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and hydrator that can boost your protection against the sun's ultraviolet rays. Plus, you can find it in an array of skin care products, so it's easy to identify an area where you can add some extra antioxidant protection to your daily routine. Feeling inspired? Good—your skin will thank you!


  • Catherine Hufton

    Catherine Hufton is a UK-based freelance journalist and writer who has worked for some of fashion's most iconic companies and written for the world's best known magazines and newspapers. Beginning her career at Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion over 12 years ago, she has created content for L'Oréal, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, The Telegraph and more.

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