Vitamin E for Acne: Is It Effective?
Acne-related pimples can affect all skin types. They are due to an obstruction of the pores and to the presence of bacteria in the sebaceous glands. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant known for its beneficial action on premature aging of the skin. Can this compound, also called tocopherol, reduce acne?
Acne: Where Do Pimples Come From?
According to the SFD (French Society of Dermatology), 15 million people in France are concerned by acne problems, including 3.3 million over the age of 15. This skin condition also appears in adults, and more particularly in women because of their significant hormonal fluctuations. Acne outbreaks can occur on the face as well as on certain areas of the body (bust, back, buttocks, etc.). This chronic inflammatory disease develops in the pilosebaceous follicles: the sebaceous glands secrete too much sebum or too much sebum, which clogs the orifices and causes pimples and blackheads. This is called dysseborrhea. In addition, in this grease-rich environment, a bacterium usually present in small quantities on the skin, Propionibacterium acnes, proliferates, causing an inflammatory response on the skin's surface.
There are two types of acne: retentional acne and inflammatory acne. The first type is caused by the dilation of pores and the appearance of blackheads. These blackheads encourage the formation of bacteria responsible for the appearance of pimples. The second type is the evolution of retentional acne. Blackheads and dilated pores eventually lead to the appearance of red pimples that can be painful.
Vitamin E, Mixed Data on Its Action on Acne.
Although studies are contradictory on the subject about benefits of vitamin E for acne, they agree on the fact that this compound is more effective in topical application than in ingestion to soothe this type of skin disorder.
In theory, tocopherol would limit inflammatory acne thanks to its antioxidant properties. Indeed, it would prevent the irritating lipid peroxidation of sebum, damaged by bacterial growth, which can be responsible for the inflammatory aspects of acne. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of scientific studies to support these data.
Be aware that vitamin E is often found in an oily form. It is important to know that this thick and oily form of vitamin E may promote the clogging of pores. To avoid this, it is recommended to mix a few drops of vitamin E in your usual face cream or to use a lighter serum already enriched with vitamin E.
Note: A study has shown that people with acne have a lower level of vitamin E than others. Therefore, a diet rich in vitamin E (fatty fish, oleaginous fruits, vegetable oils, etc.) may also be relevant in the fight against pimples and acne.
S Ayres Jr, R Mihan, Acne vulgaris: therapy directed at pathophysiologic defects, Cutis, (1981).
ZOUBOULIS C. C. Acne and sebaceous gland function. Clinics in Dermatology (2004).