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Heads Up: This Is The Best Way To Use Vitamin E For Glowing Skin

Hannah Frye
Author:
July 16, 2022
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
By Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
July 16, 2022

It's an age-old trick for addressing dark spots and even chapped lips: Break open a vitamin E capsule and use the contents as a leave-on skin serum. Pure vitamin E oil is quite thick and gel-like, so it makes sense that people would want to use the hyper-concentrated oil on their skin in hopes of achieving a glowing complexion. In fact, the hack has taken over TikTok as the latest beauty "trend" to hit our algorithms.

Dermatologist Muneeb Shah, D.O., took to TikTok as well to answer the question we've all been wondering: Is this hack worth the hype?

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Should you apply vitamin E oil to the skin?

In some of the more popular videos reviewing this technique, fans claim that using the capsulated version of vitamin E will offer a higher concentration of the nutrient, compared to other face oils and moisturizers that already contain vitamin E (and typically come buffered with other added ingredients). 

The truth is, "studies show very few benefits," Shah explains. In fact, it may actually do more harm than good when used in this form: Again, the oil is incredibly thick and goopy, which can be pore-clogging for some. (That's why it's common in oily, waxy formulas, like lip balms.) It's very uncommon, but topical vitamin E can also irritate sensitive skin, which is why experts always recommend patch-testing vitamin E oil before applying it directly to your face. 

However, Shah does state that, "vitamin E has a ton of antioxidant benefits," which is one of the reasons many people ingest those vitamin E capsules TikTokers are breaking open. 

How to use vitamin E for antioxidant benefits. 

While applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin might not be the best idea, ingesting it via supplements can help provide the beauty benefits you're after, thanks to its antioxidant content.* This is precisely why we included vitamin E, along with vitamin C, in our beauty & gut collagen+

In case you need a reminder: Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. In terms of skin health, vitamin E is essential for normal collagen cross-linking. Vitamin E also helps stabilize the skin barrier1, which functions to protect the body from irritants, allergens, and excess water loss.* 

What's more, sun exposure and aging increase the need for antioxidants, and vitamins C and E are well-known antioxidant nutrients that scavenge free radicals and combat oxidative stress2 to help maintain healthy skin and gut health while promoting healthy aging.* So if you're thinking about applying straight vitamin E oil for a healthy barrier and brighter skin, consuming the vitamin instead might be the best way to go.*

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The takeaway. 

While breaking open vitamin E capsules and using them as a serum might not be worth the trouble, ingesting vitamin E as a beauty supplement is another story. This fat-soluble vitamin is packed with antioxidant power; antioxidants have benefits that are far more than skin-deep.* You can read all about antioxidants here and find out which ones are top-notch for glowing skin.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Hannah Frye
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.