Vitamin C and E have several benefits for your skin.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage and improves skin elasticity. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. It helps repair sun damage and smoothen rough skin.
While you can take them separately, most experts recommend using them together. They are more potent that way.
Here are the biggest benefits of taking vitamin C and E for skin.
1. Sun protection
Vitamin C protects your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun.
When researchers added vitamin C to skin cells in a culture they found that it can protect against DNA damage, cell damage and cell death (apoptosis) caused by free radicals.
Some studies have also shown that it can prevent skin tumours for people who spend a lot of time in the sun.
Note that vitamin C is not an alternative to sunscreen. Unlike sunscreen, it doesn’t absorb UVA and UVB rays. It only limits the effect of free radicals that result from UV exposure.
So whenever you go out into the sun take all the usual protective precautions.
2. Skin damage treatment
Both Vitamin C and E are potent antioxidants that not only protect your skin from UV rays but can also reverse some of the damage that has already happened.
The effect will not be dramatic and you cannot reverse more serious damage. But for mild issues like sun spots, rough skin and fine lines, these vitamins are effective.
To get the best results, apply them topically rather than using oral supplements. This ensures that most of the vitamins are absorbed into the skin where they are needed most.
3. Skin clearing and smoothening
If you have uneven patches, old acne scars and other unsightly spots on your skin, try a combination of vitamin E and C.
Regular application can help fade away acne scars, brighten your skin, even out discoloured patches, smoothen your skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Vitamin C and E are common ingredients in anti-aging products. This is because they are effective at holding back skin damage that causes aging.
Free radicals are strongly connected to aging. This is because they damage cells and in some cases cause cell death.
These vitamins are both antioxidants, meaning they fight the oxidative effect of free radicals. They can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce age spots and keep the skin smooth and bright.
They also boost collagen production in the skin, which increases skin elasticity. Collagen is a protein that gives your skin structure and makes it elastic. Reduced amounts of collagen can result in sagging skin especially around areas like the neck, cheeks and eyes.
5. Hydration for dry skin
If you have dry skin in between your eyebrows or fingers, vitamin E oil is one of the best skin products you can use. It is a gentle moisturiser that locks in moisture in your skin to keep it soft and supple.
For people with oily skin however, you should be careful about using vitamin E oil. It is heavy and could easily cause a breakout.
Vitamin C is also great for dry skin as well as other skin types. Research has found that it boosts the production of barrier lipids. These are the fats in the skin that prevent loss of moisture.
Regular use of Vitamin C can help keep your skin well hydrated. It’s also great for smoothening dry rough skin.
How to take vitamin C and E
There are three ways to take in vitamin C and E.
- Orally – Oral supplements of vitamin C and E are easy to get. You should take around 200mg of each daily ideally on an empty stomach to ensure maximum absorption. You can safely take Vitamin C and E supplements at the same time.
- Topically – The best way to deliver these vitamins to the skin is via topical application. It provides better absorption into the skin compared to taking them orally. For best results, look for a cream or serum that contains both vitamins C and E.
- Diet – Even if you are taking vitamin supplements or applying a vitamin C and E cream, it is important that your diet also contain these nutrients in plenty. You can get vitamin C from most fruits and vegetables while vitamin E is best sourced from nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, fortified breakfast cereals and leafy green vegetables.