Studies have shown that patients who suffer from acne have more oxidative damage in their serum. Not only do people with acne have more oxidative damage, but they exhibit lower levels of vitamins A and E. It appears as though antioxidants are being consumed at a higher rate in people who have acne.
Vitamin E has clear antioxidant properties. When vitamin E is ingested via supplementation or diet, it is incorporated into sebum, which is an oily substance that is produced by the skin. People who have acne have lower amounts of vitamin E in their sebum and blood.
It makes sense to treat patients who have acne with vitamin E. Topical vitamin E may not be adequately converted into the active form, so oral supplementation is probably the better choice for deeper penetration into sebaceous glands.
We recommend that patients get their vitamin E from dietary sources. Nuts, seeds, fortified cereals and leafy greens are some of the best sources of vitamin E.