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Vitamin E Oil for Acne

Vitamin E Oil is a powerful antioxidant for treating acne lesions, lumps and scars.
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Acne and Acne Scars

Acne is a skin disease that usually starts in adolescence. It is triggered by the increased production of androgens.

Acne is characterized by the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, papules, scaly red skin and scars. These are mostly found in the parts of the skin with a high concentration of sebaceous follicles. Skin inflammation may also contribute to the appearance of acne.

Acne spots are formed from the clogging of skin pores. When the plug formed by sebum, bacteria and dead skin cell closes the pores, whiteheads and blackheads are formed. Other types of lesions formed are papules and pustules, both of which are inflamed, red tender bumps on the skin.

In severe cases of acne, nodules and cysts are also formed. These are larger, hard bumps on the skin. Cysts are also filled with pus.

Acne scars are formed when the body tries to heal the inflamed skin. Scarring can also worsen if the lesions, nodules and cysts are popped. While the body tries to heal itself, it accumulates a lot of collagen at the spots of the injuries. These cause the formation of noticeable scars.

There are 4 main types of scars caused by acne. These are named by their appearances. They are ice pick scars, box car scars, rolling scars and hypertrophic scars.

Types of Acne Scars
  • Ice pick scars – These are the most common type of acne scarring. They cause an indentation in the skin surface and can be seen as deep pits on the face
  • Box car scars – They are mostly found on the cheeks and temple. They are similar to chickenpox scars and are differentiated by the angular pit they make which can be shallow or deep
  • Rolling scars – These appear on the skin as an extensive wavy pattern
  • Hypertrophic scars – These hardened scars are also known as keloid scars

Sometimes pigmented scars are classified along with acne scars but they are not really scars and they are not pigmented too.

However, they are formed when acne nodules or cysts are aggravated by attempts to burst them. These leave inflamed red marks on the skin.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is made up of eight related compounds which are either tocopherols or tocotrienols.

Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of Vitamin E and it is mostly found in safflower oil, sunflower oil and wheat germ oil. Other dietary sources of Vitamin E include palm oil, green leafy vegetables, hazelnut, almonds, avocados, pumpkin and mangos.

Vitamin E is important as an antioxidant. It mops up the reactive oxygen species formed from fat oxidation.

Besides its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E is also important for neurological function, gene expression and the activities of enzymes.

Vitamin E supplements are available either as oils or as oil formulated in capsules. The importance of Vitamin E oil in acne treatment is to reduce the appearance of scars and help the skin recover.

Vitamin E and Acne Scars

Vitamin E can help regulate the production of skin proteins such as collagen and elastin. It is also important for maintaining skin health since it neutralizes free radicals that can damage follicles and increase keratin formation.

Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is easily absorbed into the skin. It fades away scars and dark spots left by acne by promoting tissue repair.

Vitamin E can also help keep the oil produced by the skin for longer by preventing their oxidation in air.

The overall effect of Vitamin E on acne scars will not happen overnight. The scars will only fade gradually as the skin repairs itself and the vitamin reduce both the appearance and size of the scars. It may take longer than 3 months to see significant noticeable effects.

How to Use Vitamin E Oil for Acne

While oral administration of Vitamin E can improve the immune system and prevent the hormonal imbalance contributing to acne formation, it is the topical administration of Vitamin E oil that holds the greater benefit for removing acne scars.

When taken orally, the maximum recommended dose of Vitamin E is 15 mg/day. To enhance the absorption of Vitamin E from the capsules, selenium may also be taken alongside.

To apply Vitamin E directly on the skin, you should buy the oil. Alternatively, the capsule form can be used but it must be broken and the oil removed from it.

The first step is to wash the affected area with soap/cleanser and water. There is no need to dry the washed area.

The oil should then be rubbed on the affected area with a cotton ball. The oil will seal in the moisture and keep the skin moisturized while it is absorbed into the scar tissue.

Leave the oil on the skin for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Alternatively, you can wipe any excess oil from the skin and leave the Vitamin E on overnight.

For daytime application, use 5,000 IU Vitamin E oil since it does not glisten on the skin as much as Vitamin E oils of higher IU values.

If Vitamin E capsules are used instead, they should be punctured with a pin and the oil drained out of them.

Repeat the oil application daily for as long as it is needed. If you notice a skin reaction, stop applying the Vitamin E oil immediately.

Vitamin E oil has a shelf life of 2 years and should not be used when it has gone bad. Rancid oils are not only useless but they may cause skin irritation or even trigger another bout of acne.

Next Article: Acne Treatments That Work


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