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Vitamine E et peau sèche

Is Vitamin E a boon for dry skin?

Vitamin E is one of the most commonly used active ingredients in cosmetic formulations. Indeed, it has several virtues for the skin, notably its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. But what about its benefits for people with dry skin? Is Vitamin E suitable for this skin type? More information here.

Published April 22, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

The benefits of Vitamin E for dry skin?

Dry skin is characterized by redness, feelings of tightness, and limited elasticity. Being relatively thin, it is highly sensitive to temperature changes and tends to flake regularly. To the touch, dry skin often feels rough and presents a "crocodile skin" appearance. Its lack of flexibility makes it particularly prone to skin aging. Dry skin is a skin type. Therefore, it is permanent, unlike dehydrated skin, which is a temporary condition. Moreover, dry skin is not lacking in water, but in fat, due to a low sebum production. This impairs the hydrolipidic film and weakens the skin. To counteract this fragility, it is recommended to adopt a customized skincare routine with nourishing active ingredients.

A liposoluble natural substance, vitamin E is primarily known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to combat oxidative stress. Indeed, its unique chemical structure allows it to donate an electron to free radicals in order to stabilize them. As a reminder, free radicals are reactive species naturally formed during cellular metabolism and neutralized by endogenous antioxidants. However, certain external factors (UV rays, pollution, tobacco...) cause the excessive generation of free radicals in the skin cells. An imbalance then occurs and the body's antioxidants are no longer sufficient to eliminate them. It is therefore appropriate to provide antioxidants orally or topically, such as vitamin E. Without this, free radicals damage the membrane phospholipids, which weakens the skin barrier. Thus, vitamin E could have an interesting indirect epidermal structural role for dry skin.

Furthermore, an in vitro study suggests that vitamin E has a moisturizing effect and can increase the hydration level of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. However, the corresponding mechanism of action has not been disclosed, and a concentration of 5% vitamin E would be necessary to achieve this effect. Regarding in vivo studies, scientists almost never report on the moisturizing properties of this molecule, especially when it is used in topical application.

As of now, the evidence supporting the effectiveness of Vitamin E in moisturizing dry skin remains limited.


  • GLOOR M. & al. The Impact of Vitamin E Acetate on Stratum Corneum Hydration. Drug Research (1998).

  • SILVA A. C. & al. Assessment of the biocompatibility and skin hydration potential of vitamin E-loaded lipid nanosystems formulations: In vitro and human in vivo studies. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces (2019).

  • SOCHA K. & al. Consumption of Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals in Relation to Body Composition, Skin Hydration, and Lubrication in Young Women. Antioxidants (2021).

  • ERKEKOGLU P., SANTOS S. & BLUMENBERG M. Vitamin E in Health and Disease: Interactions, Diseases and Health Aspects. Biochemistry (2021).


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