Ingredients Glossary: Tocopherol

11 February 2014

 What Is It? 

Tocopherol(s) are fat-soluble chemical compounds that occur naturally and are related to Vitamin E. Often when products and labels state 'With Vitamin E' the ingredients will list it as Tocopherol. 
There are 8 types of Tocopherols that are part of Vitamin E  (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta Tocopherols, and Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta Tocotrienol) but alpha Tocopherol is the most common one to be used, and most Vitamin E items do not contain all 8 of these Tocopherols anyway.

 Where Does It Come From? 

Tocopherol can be both synthetically produced and also can be sourced from natural plants and vegetable oils.

 Where To Check For It: 

You can find it an any skincare products and even makeup. Anything that boasts moisturising and softening properties, anti-aging and wrinkle fighting! Face creams, lipstick, body lotions, foundations even nail polish!!

 Why It Is Used In Products: 

Tocopherols have many uses, similar to Vitamin E they are used mostly as a skin conditioning agent, to ensure super soft skin. It is also said to have strong healing properties like Vitamin E for scars and stretch marks. It may also be used as a fragrance ingredient and for it's strong antioxidant properties to help fight free radicals and is believed to have anti-aging benefits.
Tocopherol, like Vitamin E also helps other ingredients be absorbed easier into the body which improves the effect of other ingredients within skincare products.

Safe or Avoid It?: 

The EWG classes it to be at high risk of contamination and has a slight worry around it for being present in tumours. However as a hazardous ingredient it is classed as low. It is not known too cause any allergies or irritation for the skin.
There are some concerns that some Vitamin E/Tocopherol ingredients have soy in them which is a know allergen and has raised flags with hormones and issues of being a possible xenoestrogen.

 Other Names It Can Be Labeled Under: 

Vitamin E
Vitamin E Oil
Alpha Tocopherol
Gamma Tocopherol

 Similar But Not To Be Confused With: 

Tocopheryl Acetate! Tocopheryl Acetate is a compound chemical that is a combination of Tocopherol and Acetic Acid. Tocopheryl Acetate is considered slightly more hazardous that Tocopherol and has been known to cause allergies and irritation - so it's key to know the difference.

1 comment

  1. Such a great post idea! It's nice to focus on one ingredient, Tocopherol is very frequent is green products. And I just checked that one of my lipbalms had Tocopheryl Acetate :/ xx


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