Know your Ingredients
Vitamin C Serums are legendary for a reason: They really work. Uneven skin tone, rough texture, fine lines, acne scars, general dullness — you can name just about any common complexion concern and there’s a good chance that vitamin C (and the skin-care products it’s featured in) is a recommended treatment. How does the ingredient work on the skin, though? Are the brighter, smoother results thanks to the same potent antioxidant found in the orange juice you drink when you have a cold?
Given that interest about the ingredient is seemingly at an all-time high, we felt a deeper dive into the wonders of vitamin C was warranted. We consulted the experts to learn all about what really makes vitamin C such a sought-after skin-care ingredient, as well as the best ways to reap its many benefits.
First off, what is vitamin C?
As far as your skin is concerned, vitamin C is “a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals,” explains board-certified dermatologist Patricia Wexler. “Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C aids in your skin’s natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells.”
So, in the same way that consuming antioxidant-rich foods aids your body in fighting off free radicals, topical antioxidants do the same for your skin by helping to offset daily aggressors like UV damage and exposure to air pollution. Quick refresher course on antioxidants: They prevent or reduce damage to our cells by neutralizing the production of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. In other words, antioxidants help keep our body and our skin cells healthy.
This free-radical fighting power isn’t just important for helping to keep signs of premature aging at bay. In neutralizing these free radicals, vitamin C may also help protect skin from precancerous changes caused by UV exposure, Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Allure.
How else does vitamin C benefit the skin?
Amazingly, vitamin C’s skin-saving benefits aren’t limited to its antioxidant status. It has plenty of other skin-healing properties that make it worthy of a permanent place in your medicine cabinet. For one, because it’s highly acidic, when vitamin C is used topically “the skin is triggered to heal itself by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Howard Sobel. Remember: Collagen and elastin are both naturally occurring protein fibers that help keep skin plump and firm. So, in helping to promote collagen production, topical vitamin C can help prevent premature aging of the skin.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that is available from several food sources as well as in supplement form. Some people believe that vitamin E has a positive impact on hair health, although more research is necessary to support this theory.
In this article, we examine some of the apparent benefits of vitamin E for hair and look at what evidence supports them. We also explain how people can increase their intake of vitamin E and consider whether or not there are any risks or side effects.
What can vitamin E do for hair?
Share on PinterestVitamin E has natural antioxidant effects that could help to maintain hair growth.
People have claimed that vitamin E offers several benefits for hair health, but many of these claims lack rigorous scientific evidence to back them up.
Most of the claims about vitamin E’s role in hair health relate to its antioxidant properties. These focus on the idea that it can reduce cell damage and improve hair growth.
We investigate some of the most common claims below.
Could help support a healthy scalp…
Vitamin E may help support a healthy scalp and hair as it has natural antioxidant effects that could assist with maintaining hair growth.
The vitamin’s antioxidant properties could help reduce the amount of oxidative stress and free radicals that cause the hair follicle cells in a person’s scalp to break down.
Help prevent hair loss…
There is some limited evidence to support the claim that vitamin E can help prevent hair loss.
A small research study using a total of 38 volunteers experiencing hair loss examined the role that vitamin E played in preventing this loss. The study found that one of the components of vitamin E did improve the hair growth of the volunteers compared with a placebo.
More research is still necessary to determine how vitamin E affects hair loss.
According to some people, vitamin E can help replenish shine that the hair loses as a result of damage. Chemicals, heat, and other styling products can all damage the hair.
A person can restore shine using oils, which provide an extra layer of protection to the skin and hair. Many manufacturers will add vitamin E to their products to help restore shine.
There is limited research on how effective vitamin E is at making the hair shinier again.
How to use or get more vitamin E
Vitamin E is a naturally occurring nutrient that is in certain foods. People can also find it in supplements and other products.
People can use the following methods to increase their vitamin E intake or apply more of this vitamin to the hair and scalp:
Shampoo and other hair products
Share on Pinterest, some shampoos and conditioners are fortified with vitamin E.
Several shampoos and conditioners contain vitamin E. People can wash their hair with vitamin E-fortified shampoo and conditioner as they would with regular products.
It is essential to follow the directions on the information label when using special products and supplements.
Fortified shampoos containing vitamin E and other nutrients are available to purchase online. Again, it is worth noting that there is little evidence to support their effectiveness in boosting hair health.
- Improve overall diet
- Vitamin E is present in several types of food. These include:
- leafy greens
- nuts and seeds
- vegetable oil
- fortified breakfast cereals
To increase their intake of vitamin E, people can eat foods that are naturally rich in this vitamin. Some good food sources of vitamin E include:
1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil — 20.3 milligrams (mg)
1 ounce (oz) of dry roasted sunflower seeds — 7.4 mg
1 oz of dry roasted almonds — 6.8 mg
2 tablespoons of peanut butter — 2.9 mg
half a cup of boiled spinach — 1.9 mg
half a cup of boiled broccoli — 1.2 mg
Experts generally consider increasing the intake of foods that contain vitamin E to be safe.
Use of supplements
Vitamin E supplements are often available in specialty shops and the pharmacy section of various stores.
People taking vitamin E should always use it according to the directions. They should also take it with food as it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Supplements contain a synthetic form of vitamin E. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), people need around 50 percent more synthetic vitamin E than naturally occurring vitamin E to get the same health benefits.
It is best to speak to a doctor before taking vitamin E supplements because too much vitamin E may be harmful.
Vitamin E oils
Certain oils contain an infusion of vitamin E. People should mix these oils with a carrier oil if the manufacturers have not already diluted them. This will help prevent skin irritation.
Although it is possible to apply vitamin E oils directly to the scalp, infused oils may not be the best choice for most people as they are expensive and can be difficult to use.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a product of the Moroccan argan tree. It is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree to be used as a moisturiser, conditioner and softener for skin and hair. Often dubbed ‘liquid gold’ for its amazing qualities, it contains large amounts of beneficial nutrients including vitamin E and fatty acids, which have many positive effects when applied correctly. It’s proven results are the reason people are using argan oil for hair and all areas of the body.
Why Use Argan Oil for Hair?
Argan oil is often used as a hair treatment. It is extremely beneficial for hair and scalp, and is commonly used as a conditioner.
Vitamin E is extremely beneficial for hair, and is found in argan oil in high quantities. Vitamin E promotes healthy hair growth as it contains antioxidants, which help boost cells and encourage them to produce healthy hair – it has even been used for hair regrowth.
Argan oil has a number of benefits when used on hair. It can act as a moisturiser for the scalp to fight dandruff and dry scalp. It can also promote the growth of healthy, strong hair as opposed to thin, brittle hair. It can even undo some of the damage done through chemical treatments and dyes, and can be used to treat split ends.
Immediate benefits can also be seen in people who use argan oil on their hair. It is an excellent agent for taming frizz and promoting shine and gloss, as well as softer, more manageable hair.
Argan oil is non-irritating and actually reverses much of the damage done by artificial chemicals and treatments on hair. It is often used in its pure form for healthy, soft and shiny hair. Below are a few of the best ways to use argan oil on hair.
Using Argan Oil as a Shampoo
Argan oil is often used as a key ingredient in shampoos due to its ability to restore softness, strength and shine to hair. It is an ideal ingredient to search for in a shampoo for anyone suffering from dry, brittle hair or hair damaged by chemicals and coloring.
The benefit of using argan oil as an ingredient in shampoo is that you can apply it just as a normal shampoo without adding an extra step in your routine or worrying about using the correct quantity of argan oil. It is the ideal method for ensuring strong, nourished hair with an improved appearance on a day-to-day basis.
Using Argan Oil as a Leave-In Conditioner
Argan oil makes an excellent leave-in conditioner, which can also prolong and intensify its beneficial effects on hair. It makes an ideal conditioning agent since it makes hair soft and sleek and adds extra shine.
Many leave-in conditioners are greasy or make hair stringy or clumpy. Argan oil is the exact opposite. It makes hair easier to style and, when used in the correct quantity, absorbs easily and does not leave any greasy residue.
Pure argan oil can be used as an amazingly effective, chemical-free leave-in conditioner. All you need is a few drops of pure argan oil. Rub the oil thoroughly between your palms and then comb your hands and fingers thoroughly through damp or towel-dried hair. Make sure to massage into the scalp and tips to promote healthy scalp, encourage hair growth and to treat split ends.
Using Argan Oil as a Styling Agent
If you need to style your hair in a hurry, argan oil is an incredible solution. As well as offering long-term improvements in softness and strength, it gives hair an immediate gloss to it, and is a great way to tame frizzy hair into submission.
Unlike many styling agents which can cause long term damage to hair due to the chemicals included in the ingredients, argan oil enriches hair with nutrients and repairs damage. It is also a great product to use before straightening as it can help protect hair against heat damage.
It is incredibly simple to use as a styling agent. Application is similar to use as a leave-in conditioner, but hair doesn’t have to be wet. Rub a few drops of argan oil between your palms and comb through dry hair, ensuring even distribution. Don’t use too much – you want it to absorb easily and a little goes a long way. It is a long-lasting styling agent which will make hair manageable and add great shine.
Using Argan Oil as a Hair Mask
Although a little goes a long way, an overnight treatment is a great way to maximize the effects of argan oil on hair. Using a larger quantity of argan oil as a hair mask means that as many of the nutrients as possible will be absorbed. This is a great treatment to use the night before a special event when you want your hair to be extra smooth, sleek and voluminous.
This treatment is easy to do at home. Use a liberal amount of the oil for this treatment. Massage it into your scalp, hair and tips and then wrap your hair up in a towel to prevent it from staining your pillow. Leave the treatment in overnight (or for a few hours) and then wash the argan oil out the next morning with your regular shampoo. Your hair will look sensational – and best of all, you won’t have exposed your hair to any of the chemicals present in many regular conditioning hair masks.
Pure Argan Oil or Products with Argan Oil?
Argan oil can be used either on its own or as an ingredient in a shampoo, conditioner or styling agent. It is effective both ways, so it is up to the user which one to get.
Argan oil shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers: The biggest consideration of pure argan oil is the price and convenience of using it. It is a rare oil, so the price is high if you want the real deal. A product containing argan oil might be better value for the quantity and also kills two birds with one stone when it comes to looking after your hair or skin.
Pure argan oil:
One of the benefits of using pure argan oil is that it is 100% natural and there is no need to use products with potentially damaging chemicals. Pure argan oil also gives more concentrated effects and a great result every time.