Tocopherol

AKA: Vitamin E
Simply another name for vitamin E. Tocopherol is a fantastic ingredient and especially beneficial for dry and inflamed skin. It has occlusive moisturizing, emollient, antioxidant, and photoprotective properties.
Also-Known-As:
Vitamin E
All functions
Origin
Tocopherol

Overview

Tocopherol is simply another name for vitamin E. It is a fantastic ingredient in skincare and especially beneficial for dry and inflamed skin. It has moisturizing (occlusive), emollient, antioxidant, and photoprotective properties.

Because of its extensive list of benefits, vitamin E can be found in various forms in almost every single skincare product on the market. It is particularly useful for people with eczema or atopic dermatitis.

Tocopherol is one of the most important antioxidants in our body and works in close collaboration with vitamin C (vitamin E being the most important fat-soluble antioxidant and vitamin C being its water-soluble counterpart).

The role of vitamin E is to prevent the harmful oxidation of other fat-soluble compounds and structures in our body, such as cholesterol, cell membranes, and fat reserves.

When added to a skincare formula, it also protects other sensitive compounds from oxidation by air and sunlight, which makes the skincare product more shelf-stable and longer-lasting.

Aside from this, vitamin E also serves many other functions, particularly in skin health, where it helps to combat inflammation and regenerate the skin. Since it is a fat-soluble compound, it is easily absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin.

It works so well with vitamin C because when vitamin E uses its antioxidant capacity, our cells use vitamin C to recharge it back to the active state.

The most common source of vitamin E is plant oils (e.g., wheat germ, sunflower, and canola oil). There are eight different chemical types of vitamin E: tocopherols and tocotrienols, each of them coming in alpha, beta, gamma, and delta forms.

Out of these, the most active and beneficial is alpha-tocopherol (or α-tocopherol) and its derivatives, mainly tocopherol acetate and tocopheryl linoleate (these are created to protect the tocopherol molecule from unwanted degradation).

Science

1
Thiele, J. J., & Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage, S. (2007). Vitamin E in human skin: Organ-specific physiology and considerations for its use in dermatology. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 28(5-6), 646–667.