Sudden changes in temperature can affect the condition of our skin. For example, in winter, our skin is exposed to the cold of the street, the heat of the heating system at home or at work, weather factors such as wind… Besides, this year 2020 we have to wear a mask, which causes constant friction and the appearance of a microclimate on the skin of the face to which we are not used to.
All these factors make the epidermis more sensitive, especially in winter, so it is very important to keep the skin well cared for to avoid suffering. Therefore, vitamin E is a good ally for the skin, mainly thanks to its antioxidant properties.
The properties of this vitamin, also known as tocopherol, contribute to the reduction of oxidative stress, which is closely linked to premature cellular ageing. Another advantage of vitamin E is that it is fat-soluble, i.e. it is dissolved in fats, which makes it easier to absorb in the intestine. It is also available in a wide range of foods.
What is vitamin E for? Properties in the organism
According to the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Sciences, vitamin E is the main vitamin in terms of antioxidant properties, as it protects cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. As a result, its influence on skin tissues can help combat the signs of age and premature cell ageing.
As we mentioned, vitamin E is also called tocopherol, but there are different kinds of tocopherol, the most bio-potent being α-tocopherol.
A lack of vitamin E is not common in people, as it can be found in many different foods in the diet. Its presence due to its antioxidant protection has positive effects on cells and tissues that make up the muscular, cardiovascular and neurological systems.
Antioxidant against oxidative damage
Free radicals are those from which most of the energy is obtained, however, when these are slowly accumulated over time, premature cellular ageing is caused. Oxidative stress happens when there is an unbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, which damages the DNA and affects the functions of cells in organs such as the skin.
Here, the activity of vitamin E is very important, as its antioxidant properties help protect the cells of the body against oxidative damage and excessive production of free radicals.
Benefits of Vitamin E for the skin
It is especially important for the skin, thanks to its antioxidant action, as it can help maintain the integrity of the cells that make up the skin, especially in the epidermis.
It plays an important role in protecting against factors that damage the skin, such as harmful radiation from the sun and environmental pollution. This action clearly helps to protect the tissue located on the epidermis, keeping its firmness and moisturizing properties.
The epidermis is affected by a number of internal and external actions, which can affect its structure due to the action of free radicals, which can cause wrinkles and stretch marks, among others. The use of vitamin E can help combat the oxidative stress of these situations, helping to maintain the structure of the skin.
Foods with Vitamin E
It can be found in many foods, so it is important to eat a healthy diet to be properly fed with this vitamin. Also, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin, its combination with a small amount of fat makes it absorb properly.
- Vegetable oils: this vitamin is mainly found in oils such as wheat germ oil, olive oil, canola oil or sunflower oil. In fact, according to the Spanish Heart Foundation, virgin or extra virgin olive oil is ideal for protecting against oxidative damage due to its content in this nutrient.
- Dried fruits: almonds, sunflower seeds, nuts, hazelnuts or pine nuts are products rich in tocopherol.
- Vegetables: mainly those with green leaves, such as broccoli, spinach or chard.
- Cereals, margarine and dairy products.
Recommended daily amount of vitamin E
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states that the daily intake values for vitamin E, presented as α-tocopherol, are 11 mg for women and 13 mg for men in adults, with a maximum permitted value for both of 300 mg/day.
Vitamin E in food supplements
Vitamin E, as we have already seen, is vital for our bodies and it is important to follow a varied and healthy diet that includes this essential nutrient.