In the past few months, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of cases of a mysterious lung disease. 380 people have gotten sick and as many as eight people have died. All cases have been linked to vaping.
As officials scramble to understand exactly what is happening and how to stop it, a suspect has emerged: Vitamin E oil.
Vitamin E is commonly used to dilute vape cartridges on the black market. When inhaled or ingested it has proven to be very dangerous, deadly in some cases. But Vitamin E is also a very common skin care ingredient. And one that we at The Finery recommend for use often.
So, what is Vitamin E? Is it dangerous? How should/can use it?
What is Vitamin E oil?
Vitamin E is actually a group of fat soluble antioxidants called Tocopherols. What we use topically on our skin is usually the more stable, ester form of the compound, called tocopheryl acetate. Tocopherols alone are usually too acidic to put on the skin topically and would actually do a bit of damage to skin proteins, tissues and cell membranes. So we use the ester form (tocopherol acetate) to make it safe for topical use and to lengthen shelf life.
Is Vitamin E Oil dangerous?
Vitamin E oil is found in a lot of cosmetic creams and lotions and can be bought alone in its ester form for topical use. Vitamin E oil is not dangerous for most when used as directed. Some people may develop rashes after use if they are particularly sensitive or allergic to Vitamin E oil.
Since Vitamin E is a lipid (oil) and fat soluble, it can absorb into our cell membranes. This is an added plus in topical solutions because it strengthens and soothes the skin. However, when misused and inhaled, the lipids damage the lungs.
Essentially inhaled vitamin E destabilizes and coats the inside of the lungs and as a result lung cells begin to suffocate and die.
As a rule, vitamin E should never be inhaled, in any of its forms.
How can I use Vitamin E oil?
As a topical, Vitamin E oil reduces inflammation, and moisturizes.
Vitamin E Oil for Scars Vitamin E oil can aid in scar healing and improve the cosmetic appearance of existing scars.
Vitamin E Oil for Skin Vitamin E oil has basic antioxidant and restorative properties. It can help reduce inflammation, protect from the sun to a degree, and protect from air pollution.
Vitamin E Oil for Hair Vitamin E can stimulate capillary growth in your scalp, supporting hair growth. It also prevents breakage and split ends. The antioxidants promote shiny, healthy hair.
Vitamin E Oil for Nails Vitamin E oil prevents peeling, cracked, and yellowing nails. Vitamin E oil’s moisturizing benefits may also support nail health by preventing cracked cuticles and dry skin around the nail bed.
Vitamin E Oil for Laser Tattoo Removal We recommend that our clients massage Vitamin E oil into the treatment area daily after laser tattoo removal. This promotes circulation (massage) and helps with preventing scarring and uncomfortable itchiness.
Before using vitamin E oil, do a patch test. Apply a small dab of the oil to an area that is not highly visible, such as the back of the knee or behind the ear. Wait 24-48 hours. If no reaction develops, it is probably safe to use.