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Can I Use Vitamin E for Stretch Marks?

By Megan Shoop
Updated May 21, 2024
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Stretch marks can be the result of a number of different activities and stresses on the body. Pregnancy is a common cause of these marks in women. Weight gain or weight loss may also cause stretch marks for either men or women. Some find these deep tissue tears embarrassing and seek to get rid of them with vitamin E. Vitamin E is often touted as one of the best stretch mark removal remedies because it is relatively gentle and works on most skin types.

Vitamin E for stretch marks works in several ways. First, vitamin E typically speeds cell production and repair, allowing the skin to heal itself more rapidly. It also penetrates into deep layers of tissue, repairing more than just surface wounds. Research also shows that vitamin E helps the skin become more elastic, allowing it to stretch further without damage. This not only helps reduce existing stretch marks, it may prevent the skin from developing new ones. Pregnant women may start applying vitamin E to their skin early in their pregnancies to prevent the marks from showing up at all.

Those using vitamin E for stretch marks may apply it in one of several ways. The simplest way is to simply rub vitamin E gel into the affected areas every day. Pure vitamin E gel is often available in the medical sections of local grocery stores and in online shops. Those with smaller stretch mark areas may find success by breaking open vitamin E capsules and rubbing the supplement on the affected area.

Aloe vera gel is another natural substance that softens and beautifies skin. Those already using aloe vera on their stretch marks may mix equal parts aloe and vitamin E together to create a fortified skin lotion. Vitamin E for stretch marks may also be mixed into any skin lotion or moisturizer the person is already using. Those applying vitamin E and lotion separately should typically apply the vitamin E first, since the layer of lotion may prevent the vitamin E from soaking into the skin as deeply as it should.

Taking vitamin E supplements may be an additional way to secure its benefits for the skin. The supplements can help heal the skin from the inside while lotion heals it from the outside. Even with this combination of treatments, those using vitamin E for stretch marks must have patience. The stretch marks may fade visibly within a few weeks and can disappear completely after several months. Very stubborn stretch marks may never fade completely, but can often be greatly reduced by vitamin E.

Is Vitamin E Good for Stretch Marks?

Vitamin E is an important nutrient that has numerous benefits, not only for your skin but for your entire body as well. It plays a critical role in maintaining healthy eyesight as well as protecting your blood and brain. Vitamin E even has antioxidant properties, which means it can help fight off free radicals that lead to cell damage. However, people most often associate it with hydrated and nourished skin.

Because of vitamin E's unique properties, it can be especially effective in treating and even healing skin damage. It also moisturizes and protects the skin, promoting faster cell regeneration and an improved appearance. These attributes make using vitamin E for stretch marks an excellent option for most healthy people.

How To Use Vitamin E Capsules for Stretch Marks

There are many ways to use vitamin E for stretch marks, from creams and lotions to serums and spot treatments. For a highly concentrated dose, consider using vitamin E capsules. These look like small pills, but they are not meant to be ingested. Instead, the content of the capsules is applied directly to stretch marks or other areas of dry and damaged skin. This allows the vitamin E to penetrate more directly, often leading to faster and more noticeable results.

Before using vitamin E capsules, it is helpful to prepare your skin first. Clean it thoroughly, then gently exfoliate to slough away any buildup of sebum, dirt, or dead skin cells that could prevent your skin from absorbing the vitamin as well. You may also want to consider steaming the area or applying a hot damp cloth directly before application. This opens the pores of the skin and can help make the product even more effective.

Once your skin is fully prepped, break open the capsule and apply the liquid directly to the affected area. With clean hands, use your fingertips to gently massage the oil into the skin. Allow it to sit until it has been fully absorbed by the skin. Try to keep the area open and clothing-free for at least 10 minutes. Before putting clothing on over the treatment area, make sure it feels dry to the touch. Otherwise, any lingering oils could stain the fabric.

Keep in mind that vitamin E capsules are meant for smaller areas or specific stretch marks; they are not necessarily intended for use on large areas of skin. Be sure to read the instructions carefully about where to use vitamin E capsules, as well as how many and how often to use them. While using vitamin E for stretch marks is both safe and natural, overexposure to the vitamin could be problematic long term.

What Does Vitamin E Oil Do for Stretch Marks?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it can actually promote skin repair while protecting against further damage. Because stretch marks are a result of damaged skin, antioxidants are necessary to help boost repair and minimize the appearance of these unsightly scars. Vitamin E for stretch marks can also be effective because the nutrient helps attract water to the surface of the skin and then keep it there. This helps rehydrate the area, keeping it soft and supple and therefore preventing stretch marks from getting worse.

Is It Safe to Use Vitamin E for Stretch Marks?

Vitamin E is a completely natural ingredient that is not only safe but also essential for well-balanced health. However, just as with many other vitamins and nutrients, it is possible for the body to absorb too much of it, leading to potential health risks. It takes the body much longer to process and eliminate excess vitamin E than it does other molecules, such as vitamin C. When you apply or consume too much of it in unnatural forms, it can lead to blood thinning, which can put you more at risk for hemorrhaging, stroke, blood clotting issues, and even death. This is especially true for people who already take medications or prescriptions that act as blood thinners.

To avoid vitamin E overdose, stick to topical treatments and follow the instructions precisely. Rather than taking an oral supplement, consider adding more foods that are naturally rich in vitamin E to your diet. These include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Abalone
  • Salmon
  • Rainbow trout
  • Red bell peppers

Many multivitamins also contain a moderate amount of vitamin E that is usually safe for most healthy adults. Even so, it is important to talk with your doctor before starting any new vitamin regimen, including vitamin E for stretch marks.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fify — On Aug 06, 2013

@SarahGen-- My sister told me that if stretch marks are red, they can still heal. In her salon, they use a body scrub which contains vitamin E, coconut oil and olive oil for stretch marks.

By candyquilt — On Aug 06, 2013

@SarahGen-- Vitamin E might not make old stretch marks completely disappear, but it will definitely help with their appearance.

It's best to use vitamin E oil before stretch marks occur because vitamin E oil is great for prevention. It makes skin flexible. But you can also use it for already existing stretch marks. Vitamin E oil will improve their color and appearance.

By SarahGen — On Aug 05, 2013

Is vitamin E only effective for stretch marks when they have formed recently? Or does it also work for older stretch marks?

I know that vitamin E oil helps cuts and scrapes heal faster. I have used it many times for this. But I have never tried it on my stretch marks because it's been over ten years since they formed. I feel like it's too late for vitamin E to treat them.

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