Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that possesses inherent antioxidant qualities. This nutrient is not a single compound, but rather a conglomeration of molecules which all serve unique purposes with similar molecular structures. Certain forms of Vitamin E, some of which are present in food, have unique skin healing properties. To learn how this works, keep reading!
1. How Vitamin E Heals the Skin
Vitamin E serves the skin in 3 major ways. This includes photoprotection, anti-inflammatory effects, and the healing of wounds. It can both be used topically in the form of vitamin E oil, or ingested through foods rich in this nutrient.
The first, and probably the most important role of vitamin E, is its ability to fight against free radicals and reactive oxygen species, thus preventing harmful damage. Vitamin E, especially when topically applied, works specifically to prevent UV-induced damage.
This is because vitamin E increases photoprotection for the skin. Photoprotection includes topical products like sunscreens, as well as secondary factors like antioxidants. Its main purpose is to reflect or absorb UV radiation to reduce its skin-damaging effects.
When applying vitamin E to the skin before going out into the sun it was seen to limit immune cell activation, lower damage to skin surface lipids that would result in cell damage, and decrease the reddening of the skin that causes dilation of blood capillaries.
When topically using vitamin E while ingesting it as well, the antioxidant effects become extra powerful and can decrease sunburned cells and skin pigmentation after sun exposure.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Besides having antioxidant qualities, vitamin E also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. This fat-soluble compound can reduce inflammation caused by UV-exposure. This includes skin thickness, reddening of the skin, or erythema, and edema, or swelling from a build-up of fluid under the skin.
Vitamin E specifically heals inflammation when applied topically to the skin, but adding foods rich in this vitamin to your diet only up the anti-inflammatory effects!
3. Heals Wounds
Vitamin E is one of the body’s main antioxidants, and has often been connected to the healing of wounds and even diminishing scars. Although research in this area still needs to be conducted further, a vitamin E deficiency has been seen to slow the healing of wounds and even increase your risk of scarring.
2. Plant-Based Sources of Vitamin E
Adding topical applications of vitamin E to your skin regime can significantly reduce UV-induced damage to your skin, but adding dietary sources as well can help boost its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the best vegan sources of vitamin E are:
1. Almonds contain 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E in a one-ounce serving. They are most potent in this nutrient when consumed raw.
2. Raw Seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, contains 90.5% of your recommended daily value in just a 1/4 cup serving. Seeds are a great addition to salads, soups, or smoothies!
3. Swiss Chard has 17% of your daily value of vitamin E in a one cup serving. It is also extremely nutrient dense with other vitamins like K, A, and C.
4. Kale is another leafy green rich in vitamin E. One cup of kale contains 6% of your daily value.
5. Hazelnuts are absolutely delicious and have 20% of your daily recommendation of vitamin E in a small, one-ounce serving.
6. Avocados are a creamy, healthy source of fat, and are also loaded with vitamin E. One whole avocado has 4 milligrams of vitamin E.
3. Vegan Vitamin E Supplementation
the 10 cent designer/Flickr
Of course, eating foods rich in vitamin E is ideal, but sometimes taking a supplement is just as efficient, especially when your body is lacking a specific nutrient. Some vegan vitamin E supplements include:
Additionally, you can add a soothing skin oil infused with vitamin E to your routine like Agent Greek Remedy’s 100% Organic Blend of Olive, Lavender, and Almond Oil with vitamin E!
4. Cooking with Vitamin E!
Easy Broccoli Salad with Almonds Lemon Dressing/One Green Planet
If you are looking for some recipe inspiration that will help you receive your daily dose of vitamin E, try this Dehydrated Almond Bread, Swiss Chard and White Bean Grilled Sammie, High-Energy Pumpkin Bites, Homemade Copycat Ferrero Rocher, Kale with Caramelized Onions and Cumin, and these Cheesy Tempeh Stuffed Avocados!
To learn more about vegan skincare like The Benefits of Using Organic and Natural Skincare, we recommend downloading this Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead Image Source: Niharika Verma/Flickr