Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
It’s common knowledge that this simple molecule is good for your skin, but not many people could tell you exactly what this nutrient does — vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin by neutralising the oxidant effect of free radicals, which are molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.
The atoms that comprise your body try to maintain an even number of electrons — that’s what makes them stable. If an atom has an uneven number of electrons, it will steal an electron from another atom to become stable, including those atoms which make up essential structures within your cells such as DNA. When your skin takes a beating from outside factors, such as the sun’s ultraviolet rays, air pollutants, ozone, industrial chemicals, cigarette smoke, radiation, pesticides or internal factors such as normal essential metabolic processes, your body can produce free radicals.
Free radicals are atoms with an uneven number of electrons, and when they form inside your body, they steal electrons from healthy cells like the ones that make up your skin. Topical application of Vitamin E is known to boost the skin protection against free radicals generated after exposure to UV.2-3-4 This can cause a damaging chain reaction, and that’s where antioxidants like vitamin E come in, to lend a helping hand… or in this case, a helping electron.