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What is vitamin E, what does it do and why does your skin need it?

When it comes to dry or fragile skin, there are a few ingredients that rank above all others, and one of them is vitamin E. A fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E is naturally found in your skin’s sebum and helps balance and protect the skin, keeping it healthier and hydrated. Scan the list of ingredients on your favorite skincare formulas, and you’re likely to come across this popular vitamin before too long. Often appearing on product labels under the names tocopherol or tocotrienol (listed as tocopheryl acetate on all Sanitas products), vitamin E can help provide defense from free radicals, support the skin’s natural barrier, moisturize, target signs of aging and even soothe breakout-prone skin.

What are the benefits of vitamin E?

According to Krista Eichten, master esthetician and Sanitas Senior VP of Products and Services, “When we supplement the skin with vitamin E, it’s almost like we’re making it whole again. When applied topically, vitamin E helps encourage the skin to moisturize itself by spurring natural moisture factor production.”

Vitamin E is rich with benefits, which is why it’s commonly used in a variety of different formulas designed to tackle a whole host of skin concerns. Here are some of the main reasons vitamin E is used in skincare and why you should add it to your routine:

  • Defends against free radicals: One of the most important benefits of vitamin E is that it can help defend skin against the environmental aggressors it faces every day. As an antioxidant, vitamin E can help shield skin from free radical attacks and their damaging effects, such as premature signs of aging.
  • Fortifies the natural skin barrier: When the natural skin barrier is compromised, the skin is left vulnerable, which can lead to increased sensitivity, dryness and dullness. Vitamin E can help seal cracks in the skin to help prevent moisture loss and support a healthy barrier. Regular use can help keep the skin in optimal condition so it can function at its best.
  • Delivers moisture: Vitamin E also has major moisturizing benefits, so it’s a top choice for those battling skin with dryness. It supports natural moisture retention and also helps support self-moisturizing capabilities, so consistent use can result in more hydrated skin around the clock. Additionally, the hydrating benefits of vitamin E can help with the appearance of wrinkles by plumping and smoothing the look of skin.
  • Soothes and calms skin: Another reason why vitamin E is so popular is because it can help to calm the skin and reduce irritation. Following sun or environmental damage, vitamin E can both enrich and soothe the skin, and it’s also helpful for all manner of sensitized skin.

Choosing your Sanitas vitamin E skincare products

Here are some of our top vitamin E formulas to add to your daily skin regimen:

VitaRich Serum

What it is

Incorporating a face serum with vitamin E into your daily skincare routine can help to boost overall skin health and appearance, and VitaRich Serum is one of our top sellers. A multivitamin for the skin, it leverages vitamin E along with a blend of essential fatty acids and a host of other vitamins, including one of vitamin E’s favorite partners, mega-brightening vitamin C. This serum helps to defend skin against harmful free radicals and leaves it hydrated, brighter and firmer looking.

Who it’s for

Try VitaRich Serum if you want to address any of the following:

  • Dry or extra dry skin
  • The appearance of dullness or dark spots
  • Loss of visible elasticity or the look of wrinkles + fine lines
  • A compromised skin barrier

Appropriate for skin types from normal to extra dry, VitaRich Serum is one of our best uneven skin tone products because it offers brightening vitamin C along with hydrating vitamin E. It also targets signs of aging because it can help the skin push back against harmful free radicals and help firm the look of skin. We recommend this product for anyone looking to improve their overall skin health and for those who want to add a hydrating, age defying serum to their routine.


Natural Moisture Factor

What it is

A serum that supports your skin’s own self moisturization, this formula goes beyond surface-level hydration. Vegan squalane and vitamins E, F, D and CoQ10 support the skin’s natural barrier integrity, calm the complexion and provide mega moisturizing properties. Each use helps the skin attract and retain moisture and helps defend the skin against environmental assaults.

Who it’s for

Add Natural Moisture Factor to your routine if you’re experiencing:

  • Extra dry skin
  • Sensitized or reactive skin
  • Dehydrated skin

The most hydrating product in our entire Sanitas collection, Natural Moisture Factor is made for those who need to replenish their skin’s moisture. It’s also a great way to calm reactive skin and can help hydrate and soothe the skin after a professional treatment. We recommend this product for extra dry skin types and sensitive complexions above all. Plus, if you want to replace your daily moisturizer with a super hydrating serum, this is the perfect option.


Antioxidant Moisturizer

What it is

Loaded with antioxidants, this bestseller is a midweight, vitamin E cream lotion that helps safeguard the skin against damage caused by environmental free radicals. It also helps support and fortify the natural barrier for healthy skin. Rapidly absorbable, it delivers instant hydration, helps smooth the appearance of wrinkles and reveals brighter and firmer looking skin.

Who it’s for

Reach for our Antioxidant Moisturizer if you want to combat:

  • Dry skin
  • The look of wrinkles and sagging skin
  • The appearance of dull skin
  • Free radical attacks

Our Antioxidant Moisturizer is one of the most versatile moisturizers in our collection. Lightweight and instantly absorbable, it compliments any skin type, won’t clog pores and helps with everything from signs of aging to dullness. Powered by vitamin E, along with a blend of vitamins C, D, E and B3, it helps fortify the skin against daily environmental exposure that can age it, helps improve the skin’s ability to moisturize and serves as a natural skin barrier protectant.


The final word on vitamin E

One of our favorite ingredients to include in our formulas, hydrating and enriching vitamin E is as versatile as it is beneficial. We love to formulate with this ingredient because it’s not only moisturizing but can also help to “seal” the skin to ensure no moisture gets lost and that the skin is working at its healthiest capacity.

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to make sure you’re using some vitamin E in your daily skincare routine, no matter your skin type. Keep your skin hydrated and healthy this year, pick out your favorite vitamin E cream or serum from our list and fall in love with the results!

VitaRich Serum
vitarich serum on blue table with water droplets

VitaRich Serum


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Reviewed by Alexis Mayne

Love what’s in our bottles? Alexis is a big part of the team that makes it happen. For more than 10 years, she’s been instrumental in formulating and producing the Sanitas Skincare you love. Her areas of expertise include the science of skin, finding active ingredients that get results and connecting with the purest and most responsible ingredient suppliers. She also works closely with our Boulder-based manufacturing team to make sure our products are effective, safe and consistent each and every time.