13 Best Vitamin E Products 2021 to Moisture and Protect Skin

Upon a preliminary scan of any skin-care ingredient list, vitamin E (also known as alpha-tocopherol) may very well go undetected. But once you’re armed with a little extra information, you’ll realize just how widespread and beloved this soothing ingredient is. “Vitamin E is the name given to [a] family of oil-soluble antioxidants,” cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson previously explained. Out of the eight types of vitamin E, she noted that “tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol are most commonly found in skin-care products.” 

While vitamin E may be most well-known for its moisturizing properties, it’s foremost an antioxidant that guards and strengthens a weakened skin barrier, which seals essential water and electrolytes in and protects the skin against dehydration and external stressors. Vitamin E also plays an important role in relieving conditions like flakiness, peeling, roughness, and itchiness, and also lends a helping hand in improving the appearance of acne scars.

You’ll often find vitamin E paired with another skin-loving nutrient, vitamin C. The reason for that is because vitamin E “works synergistically with vitamin C to provide UVB protection,” David Kim, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, explains. While vitamin E alone can provide some level of protection against damage caused by free radicals, it’s much more effective when combined with vitamin C, and a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology further proves this point.

Because vitamin E is fat-soluble, Dr. Kim says that it’s “readily absorbable in our skin, which is great for people with dry skin.” However, he says that those with oily or acne-prone skin should be cautious around vitamin E, as it can potentially exacerbate breakouts. (No thanks.)

Naturally occurring vitamin E can be found in other moisturizing powerhouses like argan, sunflower, almond, safflower, rice bran, and grapeseed oils, which means you probably have plentiful vitamin E already baked into your skin-care routine. But if that’s not the case, worry not, because we rounded up the best vitamin E products below, as recommended by Allure editors and board-certified dermatologists.

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