Vitamin E Oil: Why You Should Use On Your Body With Caution

You've probablyheard your doctor discuss the health benefits of taking vitamin E, whichinclude boosting your immune system, preventing stroke-induced brain damage andprotecting against certain cancers. But vitamin E oil can also work wonderswhen it comes to your hair, skin and nails. (Just take a look at this girl'ssmooth alabaster complexion.However, it isn't as simple as buying a face creamlabeled with the powerful ingredient.

Skincarespecialists praise vitamin E oil for its beauty benefits, but they do so withcaution. "Vitamin E is always a tricky ingredient to use," sayscelebrity facialist  Jonna Vargas."It's an awesome antioxidant, but it's heavy, so if you are prone to breakouts, it could make you break out more. Vitamin E has always been used inskincare, but I think the purity of it has changed."

Dr. Stafford R.Broumand, a New York City-based cosmetic and plastic surgeon, echoes theevolution of the super vitamin, explaining, "Vitamin E exists in eightchemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta- tocopherol and alpha-, beta-,gamma-, and delta –tocotrienol). Tocopherol is the only form that is recognizedto meet human requirements. However, most Vitamin E oils do not contain alleight forms and some have soy."

According toboard-certified dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, our society'sgrowingobsession with oils is rooted in the belief that a "natural"product is the cure-all for dry skin, eczema, etc. "The fact is that theoil may be moisturizing to help the condition, but the vitamin E part of it isunnecessary... and can sometimes cause an allergy," she says.

So how can we getthe most out of vitamin E oil without causing more harm than good to ourbodies?

Apply it at night."The oil can be thick and greasy, so it's best used before bedtime,possibly in place of a night cream or moisturizer," says Dr. Broumand.

Combine it withvitamin C. "It has been shown that when combining vitamin E with vitaminC, it can act as a natural form of sun protection," explains Dr. Broumand."Vitamin E oil works to block free radicals from the body, which play alarge part in the aging process. If we can fight off free radicals, then we canreduce wrinkles and keep the skin youthful-looking."

Vargas adds,"It has basic antioxidant properties that everyone needs. It isunavoidable that we are all suffering from environmental stress. [Vitamin Eoil] protects the skin against cell mutation in the sun and pollution. It'salso an anti-inflammatory, so it calms and hydrates sensitive skin."

Swap it in placeof skin-brightening creams. "Free radicals can also prevent the healing ofscars, so applying vitamin E oil will help to repair and improve the appearanceof the damaged tissue," says Dr. Broumand.

Use it to targetexcessive dryness. "There have been some studies to show that vitamin Eoil may increase circulation to the scalp," says Dr. Broumand. "Thistemporarily increased blood flow to the area could help to enhance the healthand strength of the hair follicles. Vitamin E oil can also work to hydrate andmoisturizedry, brittle hair."

Vargas alsorecommends massaging vitamin E oil on your cuticles and lips to prevent andsoothe chapped skin.

Is vitamin E oil apart of your daily beauty regimen?