Ingredient: Vitamin E

INCI: Tocopherol

Sources: Vegetable Oils

Our rating: GOOD

What is Tocopherol?

Tocopherol is a form of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin which is used as an antioxidant. Isolated tocopherol is a viscous oil that varies in color from yellow to brownish red. As tocopherol is a reactive and unstable compound, esters of tocopherol are often used in cosmetic and personal care products.

It is found in vegetable fats and oils, dairy products, cereals, nuts, meat, eggs and leafy green vegetables. There are four types of tocopherol: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The alpha form has the same biological activity as Vitamin E and gamma tocopherol is the most abundant tocopherol in our diet. The recommended daily dose is 15 mg.

Benefits of Tocopherol:

Tocopherol constitutes 96% of our skin’s natural antioxidant defense system. It is proven that tocopherol absorbs UV rays and helps prevent UV-induced free radical damage and pollution-related damage to the skin. It also helps to protect products by acting as a preservative and preventing natural and essential oils like jojoba and avocado oil from going rancid. It has excellent wound healing properties. As inflammatory conditions in the skin are a leading cause of skin aging, tocopherol’s anti-inflammatory action can mitigate the signs of aging by enhancing the topical delivery of other active compounds into the skin. The topical application of Vitamin E has also proven to be effective in reducing sun-induced skin wrinkling while its excellent skin moisturizing properties prevent trans epidermal water-loss, increasing the natural moisture content of the skin. In a study conducted by Tsoureli-Nikita et al., 96 atopic dermatitis patients were treated with either placebo or oral Vitamin E (400 IE/day) for 8 months. The results concluded that Vitamin E is a therapeutic tool for atopic dermatitis and that tocopherol is a powerful agent for skin conditioning and moisturizing.

Vitamin E is known to reduce erythema, sunburn cells and chronic UV-B–induced skin damage. Experimental studies suggest that Vitamin E has antitumorigenic and photoprotective properties, shielding the fibroblast in the skin. Fibroblast helps to make collagen, glycosaminoglycan and the elastic fibers which are critical components needed to keep the skin healthy, soft, smooth and radiant.

Side Effects & Toxicity:

An extremely safe ingredient, the food and drug administration (FDA) includes tocopherol on its list of nutrients considered Generally Recognized As Safe. 

Editor’s Note:

The early stages of application of tocopherol may cause skin reactions such as inflammation or itching. Breakouts can also occur due to the additional moisture on the skin.