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Also-called-like-this: Vitamin E
What-it-does: antioxidant
Irritancy: 0-3
Comedogenicity: 0-3

Quick Facts

  • Primary fat-soluble antioxidant in our skin
  • Significant photoprotection against UVB rays
  • Vit C + Vit E work in synergy and provide great photoprotection
  • Has emollient properties
  • Easy to formulate, stable and relatively inexpensive

Geeky Details

Vitamin E is the major fat-soluble antioxidant in our skin. As a strong antioxidant it’s an A-player in protecting the skin cells from the nasty little things called free-radicals that want to destroy the lovely collagen that makes our skin nice and firm. 

Because it’s fat soluble our skin just loves to absorb it (as opposed to water soluble things where we have to trick our skin to absorb them).

Vit E can be found in many foods: vegetables, oils, seeds, nuts, corn, soy, whole wheat flour, margarine and even some meats and dairy products. The natural form is denoted by a ‘d’ in the beginning of the name and  ‘dl’ denotes the synthetic form. While this is absolutely not always true, in this case research shows that the natural form is more active and is better absorbed

The name tocopherol actually refers to a whole group of stuff and it has four subtypes: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The subtypes are quite different: alpha-tocopherol is the nicest and most active one, while delta-tocopherol seems to be the lazy guy and does not even have antioxidant properties. In cosmetic products mixed tocopherol (containing all subtypes) or alpha-tocopherol is the best choice. 

There are lots of studies showing that Vit E has some nice photoprotection properties, meaning it can protect the skin from UV (and in case of Vit E it’s mainly UVB) rays. If you put it on your skin,  it lowers the production of sunburn cells, reduces the damage caused by UVB rays and inhibits photocarcinogenesis. 

What it does not do is helping agains UVA caused skin issues like sagging. But if you combine it with Vit C (especially in high amount like 15%), the two together work in synergy, give broad spectrum protection and double each other's effectiveness. 

There is also this urban legend that Vit E helps in wound healing. Well, that just seems to be a legend. Several studies were made to prove this point but so far none of them managed to do so. In some cases it made things even worse. :( So if you have some surgical scars do not put Vit E containing stuff on it. It’s an urban legend, no proof. 

Show me some proof

  • Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Vitamin E - pages 293-294
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology., 2003 Jun;48(6):866-74., UV photoprotection by combination topical antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E.

Products with a known amount of Tocopherol

Other products with Tocopherol

Agrestal Hydrate. Rose Hydrating Oil CUURA Lip Glaze (Superfood Lip Oil) Jamieson Provitamina E 100% Pure Vitamin E Oil Palmer's Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack 60g Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Leave-In Conditioner Palmer's Olive Oil Formula™ Smoothing Shampoo With Jamaican Black Castor Oil VITAFORCE Vita-E 1000 Herbal Cream cosmoderm Vitamin E Oil 15,000 I.U. cosmoderm Vitamin E Oil 30,000 I.U. Aesop Remove Atypical Skincare Clean It Pink Aura Cacia Skin Care Oil, Nurturing Sweet Almond Base Ultra Clarity Balancing Lotion Cococare Vitamin E Skin Oil Curve Wellness Clarity Ead Tissue Oil Soap Bar Eczema Honey Nourishing Lip Balm Face Theory Balancing Rosehip Oil O3 Garden of Eden Rosa T Acne Serum 15ml Guerisson 9 Complex Cream Huapont Viaminate and Vitamin E Cream Ikarov Shea Butter Life-flo Pure Almond Oil, Skin Care Life-flo Pure Maracuja Oil Life-flo Pure Olive Squalane Oil Life-flo Pure Rosehip Seed Oil Life-flo Rosehip Seed Rejuvenation Oil With Revitalizing Floral MELVITA Huile De Jojoba Bio MELVITA Organic Rose Hip Oil Mill Creek Botanicals Elastin Cream Odacite Gt + L Odacite Wild Carrot Facial Serum Concentrate Vital Glow Okenys Stop hair Orchidbloom Marula Skin Oil Organic Harvest Happy Lips Colour Lip Balm Rio Rosa Mosqueta Rosehip Seed Oil SUIT Matters Bakuchiol Somme Institute Boost Warming Mask Spring Valley Vitamin E Skin Oil 12000 IU Swanicoco Neofinetia Falcata Callus Pure Ampoule Swisse Argan Face Oil Swisse Rose Hip Oil Tarte Maracuja Oil Trader Joe's Vitamin E Oil Blend URANG Whitening Blue Oil Serum VAALYS Viisage Face Serum Vea PF-C Antioxidant Cream Wonder Youth Restoring Salve You & Oil Beauty Shot 100% Botox Oil