Vitamin E is the most abundant anti oxidant found in human skin, it’s function is to remove free radicals from the body as they will otherwise damage cell membranes with the knock on effect of inflammation, ageing, interference with metabolism and even mutation of cells.
You absorb vitamin E from your gut with the help of bile salts, so a good functioning liver and gall bladder make quite a difference.
Oily skin types have higher levels of vitamin E but like vitamin C, UV light exposure will lower the vitamin E content of the skin. Levels go down as we age. If you smoke, vitamin E is even more important as it helps with the free radical damage caused by cigarette smoke.
A deficiency of vitamin E is rare but will be more likely if you have problems metabolising fat or have liver disease. It will speed up collagen cross linking which is not reversible and is often seen on the skin of people who’ve smoked cigarettes for many years. A deficiency can also cause neurological symptoms and problems with the eyes.
If you eat a lot of bacon or meat where nitrites are added for preservation, vitamin E will help minimise the toxic effects.
Foods containing Vitamin E
Wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, grains, meat, poultry.