Vitamin E’s crucial function is to protect lipids from free radical damage and oxidation. Lipids are the building blocks of cell membranes and other important biochemical structures. Free radicals are unstable, chemically incomplete substances that are highly reactive, damaging substances in the body such as enzymes. Exposure to air pollution, cigarette smoke, and strong sunlight can increase the formation of free radicals.
Vitamin E consists of several compounds known as mixed tocopherols, including alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherol. Alpha tocopherol, the primary ingredient in most vitamin E supplements, is a well known and researched antioxidant. Tocotrienols are also a part of vitamin E family. It is thought that tocotrienols are up to 50 times more potent than tocopherols as antioxidants.
Vital skin cells need to be protected by antioxidants. But you can’t buy vitamin E products blindly. While synthetic vitamins are often as effective as natural ones, for Vitamin E this does not appear to be the case. It’s believed that synthetic Vitamin E is only half as effective the natural one. Synthetic Vitamin E often contain a less effective form of tocopherols and tocotrienols so it’s advised to use the natural form unless the company expressly states that their Vitamin E contains D form only. Finally, make sure to get the one with the balanced mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols.