This old-school moisturising ingredient also protects your skin against the environment

Vitamin E could be the ingredient your skincare routine is missing. Here’s everything you need to know about the it.

You may be well-versed in the benefits of vitamins A (also known as retinol), B3 (niacinamide) and C (L-ascorbic acid), but not many people know about the antioxidant properties of vitamin E.

Commonly listed as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate on ingredient lists, vitamin E is actually found in a lot of skincare products. The reason? It has a wide range of properties, from shielding skin against damaging environmental factors to soothing and moisturising irritated skin.

Here, Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at Skin55, runs through everything you need to know and we list the best vitamin E products on the market right now.

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What is vitamin E and what are the skin benefits?

“Vitamin E is an excellent oil-soluble antioxidant in topical skincare. It can reduce the damage by harmful molecules known as free radicals which are generated by UV radiation from sunlight and pollution.”

Which skin types are best suited to vitamin E?

“As vitamin E is an oil at room temperature, it is suitable for those who would like to incorporate an antioxidant into their routine with dry, very dry, or mature skin.”

Which skin types should avoid using vitamin E?

“I would recommend avoiding its use by those with very oily or acne-prone skin or those prone to sensitivity.”

What are the different ways you can use vitamin E in your skincare routine?

“It can be used underneath moisturiser and sunscreen in the morning [if it’s a vitamin E oil] and is sometimes combined with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C in serums.”

Our picks of the best vitamin E skincare products

  • Best vitamin E cleanser: The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser

    The Body Shop’s entire vitamin E range is a favourite, but this cleanser is one of its stand-outs. The creamy formula removes make-up and impurities without irritating skin. It also contains wheatgerm oil to leave your complexion feeling softer and bouncy to the touch.

    Shop The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser at The Body Shop, £8.50

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  • Best vitamin E face cream: Superdrug Vitamin E SPF15 Moisturising Cream

    Blended with naturally-sourced vitamin E to protect skin against environmental damage, this nourishing cream also contains vitamins A, B, F and H to make it particularly effective for dry skin. In fact, one Stylist contributor found it made a big difference to her eczema.

    Shop Superdrug Vitamin E SPF15 Moisturising Cream at Superdrug, £4.49

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  • Best vitamin E face mask: Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask

    This face mask combines the benefits of vitamin E with vitamins C and B5 to create a complexion-boosting cocktail. After cleansing, massage it onto damp skin and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off. The ingredients not only leave skin looking brighter, but natural AHA fruit acids provide gentle exfoliation, too.

    Shop Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask at Cult Beauty, from £22

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  • Best vitamin E serum: Alpha H Vitamin E

    This potent serum aids the skin’s natural defence barrier to shield skin from damaging free radicals. It utilises vitamin E’s calming properties and works to relieve irritated, dry, flaking or cracked skin.

    Shop Alpha H Vitamin E at Beauty Bay, £34.95

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  • Best multi-vitamin serum: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

    A cult product for a reason, this SkinCeuticals serum combines 15% pure vitamin C with 1% vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid for an effective, protective veil on the skin against pollution, infared radiation and free radicals.

    Shop SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum at lookfantastic, £140

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  • Best vitamin E lip balm: Dr Organic Vitamin E Lip Balm

    The skin on your lips is very thin, meaning it’s important to protect it against drying environment factors and the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Along with vitamin E, this lip balm contains organic shea butter and SPF to hydrate, condition and shield your lips.

    Shop Dr Organic Vitamin E Lip Balm at Dr Organic, £3.99

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  • Best vitamin E eye cream: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

    If you’re in the market for a new eye cream, make it this one. As well as an impressive line-up of vitamin E, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, the formula is fast-absorbing and non-greasy, meaning it sits well under make-up.

    Shop CeraVe Eye Repair Cream at lookfantastic, £9.60

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