Vitamin E is Vital

One of the main fat soluble antioxidant vitamins found in the body is vitamin E. It have protective functions within the cellular membrane, the lipoproteins and other structures that are oily in nature. Skin is particularly high in unsaturated fatty acids so using vitamin E (both topically and orally) is very beneficial.

Flavonoids and skin care

There are a wide ranging group of plant pigments that have antioxidant properties, these are known as flavonoids. They are the substance that gives most fruit, vegetables and flowers their color. Apart from providing color that serves as a draw to animals and insects, these pigments also provide protection for plants to various environmental stresses. Not only are flavonoids strong antioxidants but they also have anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti allergens as well as anti inflammatory protection. There have been more than 4,000 flavonoids classified and characterized. But only a few of that 4,000 have been researched to any degree. There are two kinds of flavonoids that are valuable when it comes to skin care: proanthocyanins (found in pine bark and grapes) and polyphenols (found in green tea).

Coenzyme Q10, Lipoic acid, Cysteine, Methionine – a summary

Coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, cysteine and methionine are all strong and viable antioxidants. They all also have other uses at least with regards to their antioxidant protection. See the discussion above on conditionally essential nutrients.

Vitamin E reborn: how to correctly use tocopherols and tocotrienols for skin and health

The most commonly referred to natural antioxidant is vitamin E. Vitamin E is actually the best know antioxidant that is found in the human body. Its main biological function is the protect lipids from free radical damage and oxidation. Lipids are a key component of the cell membranes as well as other biochemical structures. Oxidation is a tremendous threat to lipid based substances; it can cause them to disintegrate within a few hours. This means that lipid protectors like vitamin E are a vital thing. But like most things, vitamin E needs to be used with some knowledge.

As with all vitamins, a complete lack of vitamin in the diet would be fatal. But the good news is that the minimum amount of vitamin E needed to maintain basic health is so low that virtually any diet has enough vitamin E in it to prevent deficiency. For many years scientists have told us that amounts of vitamin E that are excess to the minimum would provide extra positive effects such as lowering the risk of heart disease and cataracts as well as slowing the aging process in the skin). A few years ago the reputation of vitamin E was blemished. Several noteworthy scientific trials showed that long term high level doses of vitamin E supplements had little to no effect on the risk of heart disease. In one study, vitamin E appeared to have made people more vulnerable to heart disease rather than protecting them from it.

The good news is that there has been addition research done on vitamin E. This new research shows that well formulated vitamin E supplements can be even more beneficial than previously thought. You do, however, have to use vitamin E with care. If you have a good grasp of the minutiae of how to use it then you will reap the benefits.

The majority of vitamin E supplements are made up solely of DL-alpha-tocopherol which is a combination of two visually different kinds of alpha tocopherol – D and L. DL alpha tocopherol is not good enough to prevent vitamin E deficiency if used on its own. Current thinking says that vitamin E is representative of a broad range of related natural compounds that include alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopherols as well as alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocotrienols.


The main ingredient in the majority of vitamin E supplements is alpha tocopherol which is a well tested antioxidant. All antioxidants work with a limited group of free radicals. Beta, delta and gamma tocopherols work with a different set of antioxidants then the alpha variety does. The later three work with and enhance the work of the alpha tocopherol in combating free radicals and preventing diseases. One scientific study showed that large doses of alpha tocopherol taken on its own could be used to lower the blood levels of gamma tocopherols by 30 to 50 percent. This could be why in certain circumstances high volume doses of vitamin E supplements can do more damage than good.

Tocotrienols – anther part of the vitamin E family

Another member of the vitamin E family is tocotrienols. These are the most important group. These antioxidants are 50 times stronger than the tocopherols are. They have been proved to increase the average lifespan of animals by close to 20 percent. When their effects have been studied on humans, tocotrienols have shown a tremendous amount of promise in the treatment and even prevention of degenerative diseases. In one instance they were shown to reverse the narrowing of the carotid artery which was a result of atherosclerosis. This is a very impressive outcome for a noninvasive procedure. Like tocopherols, tocotrienols come in several forms (alpha, beta, delta and gamma).

What kind of vitamin to use – natural v. synthetic

Synthetic vitamins can be equally as effective as the ones produced from natural substances. This is not the case when it comes to vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is made of only the delta forms of both tocotrienols and tocopherols, while manmade vitamin E supplements are produced with an equal mixture of the D and L forms. It is an expensive procedure to isolate the D form of vitamin E so it is rarely done when the supplements are being mass produced. The L form seems to be less effective than the natural D form is, particularly when it is taken orally in pill form. Even though it is more expensive it is better to use the natural supplements.

Why take vitamin E for your skin?

So far there have been no conclusive studies of the effectives of using oral v. topical alpha tocopherol on its own compared to that which contains a balanced mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Most probably, the topical mixture is more effective than the one that has the mixture. When you go to buy vitamin E supplements, be sure to look for one with a balanced mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Unfortunately, most topical vitamin E only has alpha-tocopherol. If you can’t find one that has the mixture you can always make your own.

In order to keep you skin looking healthy you need to maintain a diet that is well balanced nutritionally. While healthy eating may not produce striking results, not eating a healthy diet will cause your skin to age much faster.
Blood sugar levels have an important effect on the aging process. Glucose is not only a key fuel for cellular use but it is also a potentially damaging substance when it comes to tissues and cells.
The good health of every organ in the body is dependent on vitamins and minerals; the skin is one of those organs. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be particularly harmful to the skin and can result in accelerated aging or skin disease.
Non-essential nutrients are the ones that the body can do without or else are synthesized by the body productively. Essential nutrients are the ones that body cannot make itself and cannot do without either. The third type of nutrient are the conditionally essential ones, these can be synthesized by the body if it is working at optimal efficiency.
One of the major causes of aging is free radical damage. As has been discussed earlier, free radicals are the indiscriminate and highly reactive chemicals that have the ability to damage the structure of all living cells.
When silicone is mentioned in terms of beauty the first thought that most have is break implants, most of which are done with silica gel implants. Interestingly that isn’t the only use for silicone in the beauty market. There is actually a safer and more natural use for it, that is in food supplements that are rich in bioavailable forms of silicone.
The cost of a skin care treatment should not be indicative of its value for the skin. In other words, just because a remedy or supplement is expensive doesn’t mean that it is good. Cheaper remedies can be very effective. A good example of this is the fact that regular exercise which can cost nothing or close to it can have very positive effects on your cardiovascular system. Eating less carbohydrates and cutting down on your caloric intake can have life lengthening effects that are cheap and easy to achieve.