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Why Vitamin E Is in All Your Skincare Products

If you read the labels on your skincare products, you’ll find that many of them contain vitamin E. But did you ever wonder what it is about vitamin E that makes manufacturers want it in their products? Hum, a blog that talks about nutrition topics, explains it: Vitamin E works as a both a powerful antioxidant and a hydration tool that can help your skin stay healthy.

As mentioned in the featured article, vitamin E is an important fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps combat inflammation and make red blood cells. It also helps your body use vitamin K, which is important for heart health. Unfortunately, a review presented at the World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, showed that more than 90 percent of Americans fail to reach the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E. Worldwide, about 6 billion people are deficient in vitamin E.

Not surprisingly, the primary reason for such widespread deficiency is the fact that most people eat a primarily processed food diet, which tends to be lacking not only in vitamin E, but also in many other important antioxidants and micronutrients, including healthy fats. Since vitamin E is fat soluble, if you’re on a low-fat diet you may simply have too little fat to properly absorb the vitamin E present in the foods you eat or supplements you take — yet another adverse effect of the flawed recommendation to eat a low-fat diet.

Foods, of course are the ideal source of vitamin E. Three general categories of foods that contain higher amounts of vitamin E are:

  • Leafy greens
  • High-fat foods such as nuts, seeds and fatty fish/seafood, including shrimps and sardines
  • Oil-rich/high-fat plants such as olives and avocados

If you decide to take a supplement, make sure it's a high-quality supplement made with all-natural ingredients. Here are a number of criteria to consider when making your selection:

  • Made with natural vitamin E. Synthetic versions are typically identified by the "dl" at the beginning (dl-alpha-tocopherol), while non-synthetic uses a "d" (d-alpha-tocopherol).
  • Free of soy or soybean oil derivatives. Due to the potential health risks (detailed above), avoid vitamin E supplements that contain any kind of soy.
  • Free of GE ingredients. This can be a bit challenging since manufacturers are not required to list specifics on GE ingredients. However, since vitamin E is naturally formed in a variety of plants and many of these plants are now GE, (especially when grown in the U.S.), I recommend avoiding supplements made from corn, soybeans and cotton seed.
  • Has a balance of all four tocopherols. If it's a synthetic form of vitamin E, it most likely will not contain any of the other tocopherols (beta, gamma and delta). I believe these are important to your overall health and should be included.
  • Has a balance of all four tocotrienol nutrients. Rarely do you find these important compounds listed on vitamin E labels and the reason for that is because synthetic formulas will not contain tocotrienols. In my view, they're an important part of a well-balanced formula.
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