When shopping for your new favorite moisturizer for sensitive skin or Marula oil, you may be curious about turning over the bottle to check the ingredients, and you may wonder whether or not those ingredients may get along with your skin.
It’s easy to get perplexed from all the ingredients listed! Most may have an ingredient listed as “Tocopherol”. But what is Tocopherol, and why is it so common in skin care products? What separates natural tocopherol from synthetic, and why is it almost impossible to find soy-free tocopherol? Ayr Skin Care wants to shed some light on this important skin care ingredient.
What is Tocopherol?
Tocopherol is just another name for Vitamin E. It is the most common antioxidant in skin care formulation and is used to extend the shelf life of natural oils. But tocopherol does so much more than that!
Tocopherol or Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that is found in nuts, seeds, and some vegetable and seed oils. It is sourced from sunflower seeds, soy, and wheat germ in the skincare world, but there are many other forms of natural E in the foods that you eat too.
Food Sources with Vitamin E
Naturally occurring vitamin E can be found in your daily diet if you eat healthy foods. It can be found in wheat germ (if you are gluten-free, avoid this), soybeans, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and Brazil and pine nuts.
Vitamin E is also in some types of fish, notably salmon, trout, and abalone. There is a small amount present in eggs, as well. For our vegan friends, you can find vitamin E in the nuts above and also in your favorite salads! Vitamin E is found in turnip greens, red peppers, and mango. Your body does not require very much of these as long as you consume them regularly.
Why is Tocopherol used in Skincare?
Vitamin E has been talked about for its skin benefits since the 1960s. It was associated with wound healing, and the capsules that were sold in “health stores” could be pricked with a pin and a small dot of the vitamin E oil could be applied to a healing wound to minimize scarring. Vitamin E also has immunity-boosting properties, fighting off free radicals from pollution and the environment. Most importantly for skincare, Vitamin E is an important part of moisturization since it helps hydrate dry patches or skin discolorations.
Studies by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology have shown that topical applications of vitamin E were helpful in reducing the appearance of sun damage to cell integrity. Details of that study showed that topical applications of Vitamin E products were even more effective than consuming them orally, perhaps due to the vitamin not being consumed with fat (fat-soluble vitamins should be consumed with fat). Oral vitamins going through the stomach tend not to be as effective as topical application. Combined with vitamin C, applying a Vitamin E skincare product was proven even more effective.
The Cheap and the Artificial
Tocopherol in skin care formulations is used at a very small amount. Even 0.3 to 0.5% tocopherol can show a remarkable difference in shelf life and active antioxidant performance.
Knowing this, you would assume that skin care manufacturers would toss in the very best vitamin E that they could, since it is used in such small amounts. There, you would be wrong! Most large skin care manufacturers are still consumed with cutting corners wherever possible.
Here are some synthetic vitamin E ingredients to avoid:
- Rac-a-tocopheryl acetate – a synthetic and toxic form of dl-alpha tocopherol. It is a synthetic petrochemical-derived ingredient associated with cancer. You can easily identify it by the fact that it contains a “y” in the name.
- Dl tocopherol – A synthetic form of tocopherol. You can tell it is synthetic because of the “l” after the "D" in the name. (Natural tocopherol is listed as d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopherol acetate, or just tocopherol.)
- Avoid tablets of vitamin E if you are taking it as a supplement. Vitamin E is oil, and naturally-derived E will be in an oil filled capsule. If it is in a tablet, then it is filled with a synthetic powder, which is known as “succinate”, a synthetically produced version of vitamin E.
If you are allergic to soy, or are concerned about the association with GMO soy and cancer, then question where your tocopherol is coming from. It is more common than you think. GMO soy based tocopherol is the most commonly used tocopherol on the market.
The Highest Quality Tocopherol for Your Sensitive Skin Needs
The best tocopherol out in the cosmetic world, and the one that we use in our products at Ayr, is produced naturally, isolated from GMO-free sunflower oil without the use of petrochemicals. It is soy-free, and much more expensive than other vitamin E ingredients on the market. It is twice as potent as synthetic vitamin E according to the National Academy of Science.
While keeping our line soy-free, we carefully source ingredients from far and wide, ensuring that even a small amount of soy does not enter our ingredient list. The tocopherol that we use is FDA approved and recognized as safe, and also aligns with our ethos of not promoting and supporting the sale and use of GMO soy.
Questions about how to nurture and pamper your sensitive skin? Get in touch with us by calling (949)-545-6955.
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.