What are the most stubborn features on our bodies? Alongside the occasional blemish, dimple, or grey hair, scars deserve an honourable mention for being nearly impossible to banish. Whether it’s a baby or battle scar, many search for ways to lighten or reduce these visible signs of skin damage.
With no shortage of scar treatments on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is worth its weight in gold. That’s why we’re going straight to one of the most popular remedies: vitamin E. We’ll take a closer look at scars and stretch marks, and explore the potential benefits of using this gold-standard ingredient to support our beautifully changing bodies as they evolve.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble antioxidant available in both oil and capsule form. There are eight different forms of vitamin E; of those, tocopherols are the most abundant and commonly found in skin care products.
Vitamin E is essential for the basic maintenance of the human body, giving cells their ability to interact with each other in order to carry out important functions. The tocopherol form of the vitamin is recognised to meet human requirements, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A known superstar in skin care, vitamin E has excellent hydrating, antioxidant, and protective benefits.
Using Vitamin E for Scars
The benefit of using vitamin E for scars derives from two key features: antioxidant and moisturising properties. Free radicals – from UV rays to environmental stressors like smoke and pollution – can damage skin cells and accelerate signs of ageing. Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, it can penetrate your skin to strengthen the outer protective barrier and guard your skin against harmful damage.
Vitamin E is also praised for its moisturising and soothing benefits, especially for delicate or damaged skin. With these anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin E is able to calm irritated skin and deeply nourish dry skin.
This antioxidant also promotes the production of collagen, a structural protein that’s responsible for the strength and elasticity of skin. Stretch marks are essentially microtears in our skin’s dermis: its middle layer. When stretch marks occur, that’s a sign that the tissue has been stretched beyond its abilities.
This is why promoting skin elasticity and moisture are the best remedies for ensuring your skin’s comfort and support as you stretch, grow, and evolve. Vitamin E is an ingredient that can do just that!
How Can Vitamin E Help Scars?
Scars can’t always be avoided, and there isn’t conclusive research that any topical treatment can erase them. Yet for those experiencing microtears and hyperpigmentation in the form of stretch marks and scars, it has been suggested that vitamin E may be able to help. Those with sun damage, and changes in skin pigmentation have all seeked help from vitamin E at some point.
If there’s one beauty tip that moms-to-be or postpartum mothers are told, it’s to use some sort of vitamin E oil or body lotion to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. While we don’t agree that stretch marks are shameful or should be erased, we do believe in supporting the skin of a growing tummy, breasts, or other stretch-prone areas.
Stretch marks can occur for many reasons: during pregnancy, weight loss or weight gain, increased height, and other hormonal changes. Even weightlifters and elite athletes deal with stretch marks! They’re a natural part of the body’s journey, and ultimately cannot be prevented – for better or worse.
Since vitamin E works as an antioxidant within skin tissue, it’s often prescribed to help mitigate the appearance of scars both pre and post-surgery. Using a topical form of vitamin E before and after surgery may improve the way wounds heal, but research is inconclusive. Vitamin E is also critical for the formation of red blood cells, which distribute oxygen around the body. Both functions are vital to healing.
Adding Vitamin E to Your Diet
While prevalent in topical products, vitamin E can also be found in a wide variety of foods. Vegan sources include vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils. Nuts (such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and, especially, almonds) and seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also among the best vegan sources of vitamin E. Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli also boast high levels of vitamin E.
This vitamin can even offer anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin when ingested; this means that both internal and external supplementation can help dial back your inflammatory responses. Symptoms of inflamed skin can be recognised as redness, scaling, or irritation.
The Best Products with Vitamin E
There is no shortage of scar treatments, just as there are endless claims that vitamin E can make scars disappear completely. We all know that using vitamin E for scars is touted as an effective option for healing and lessening the appearance of skin damage. But it should be noted that it is rare to see scars completely erased without medical intervention.
Vitamin E oil has a long proven history as a superior healer for common skin ailments such as sunburns, signs of ageing, and dry skin conditions like eczema. The great thing about pure, all-natural vitamin E oil is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can apply the oil directly to your body, or mix a few drops into your favourite body lotion or cream. Look for body lotions with high concentrations of vitamin E, such as ultra-nourishing body creams, or whipped body butters.
Our Skin Support Stretch Mark Butter – available in both natural and organic formulations – is one such treatment for supporting skin. This butter is made with super-rich ingredients to deeply nourish and support growing or shrinking skin.
Natural stores on vitamin C from acai oil may help reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and other hyperpigmented skin. Shea butter and cocoa butter instantly soothe dry, itchy skin – a common symptom of stretch marks. Warm this butter between your skin to get a silky salve consistency, then apply generously to areas prone to stretching or dryness.
PRO TIP: Why is it green?! Both natural and organic versions of our Skin Support Stretch Mark Butter may vary in colour, due to the antioxidant content present in acai oil.