• Derived from: olive oil
  • Pronunciation: (\tō-ˈkä-fə-ˌrȯl)
  • Type: Naturally-derived
  • Other names: vitamin E

What Is Tocopherol?

The predominant form of vitamin E in human and animal tissues, tocopherol is a pale yellow liquid that occurs in plant materials.[1] It is found in vegetable fats and oils, such as sunflower, peanut, walnut, sesame, and olive oils; it is also found in dairy products, meat, eggs, cereals, and nuts.[2,3] Tocopherol is a naturally occurring lipid; it can also be produced synthetically. In its natural form, it is created via photosynthesis.[4] It is a natural component of cell membranes thought to protect against oxidative damage.[5]

What Does Tocopherol Do in Our products?

Tocopherol is a skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant that absorbs ultraviolet UVB light and does not dissolve in water.[6,7] It is found in thousands of personal care products, including moisturizing cream, sunscreen, makeup, bar soap, acne medications, hair styling products, lotion, foot powder, hair spray, hair coloring and other items.[8]

Why Puracy Uses Tocopherol

We use tocopherol in several of our products as a moisturizer. The FDA has deemed the ingredient generally recognized as safe (GRAS), and Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[13,14] Studies show tocopherol is generally not irritating or sensitizing to the skin or eyes.[15,16] The Cosmetics Ingredient Review has also determined that tocopherol does not have irritation or sensitization issues of concern; in addition, the panel reported that the ingredient is not a tumor promotor, nor did its photocarcinogenicity present concerns for the panel.[17] The North American Contact Dermatitis Groups has deleted this ingredient from its standard testing because of the extremely low incidence of reactions.[18]

How Tocopherol Is Made

Tocopherol production typically begins by drying out oil seeds to remove some of the water content. After removing the shells or hulls, the seeds are usually ground, then mixed with hot water and boiled to allow some of the oil to float. The milled seed is then turned into a paste and kneaded or pressed to separate the oil. At that point, the oil can be refined to remove flavor or odor.[9] Vitamin E activity is derived from at least eight naturally occurring tocopherols, the most potent of which is alpha-tocopherol. Gamma-tocopherol is another form of vitamin E, though it is predominantly in food.[10] Alpha-tocopherol acetate is the most common form used in sunscreen and skin care products; dl-alpha-Tocopherol is a synthetic form but is half as potent as the natural version.[11,12]

Certifications

Sources

[1] Personal Care Council
[2] Personal Care Council
[3] MedlinePlus.gov
[4] Personal Care Council
[5] Zondlo, Fiume M., “Final report on the safety assessment of Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Linoleate/Oleate, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Dioleyl Tocopheryl Methylsilanol, Potassium Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Phosphate, and Tocophersolan,” International Journal of Toxicology. 2002;21 Suppl 3:51-116
[6] Personal Care Council
[7] Personal Care Council
[8] Environmental Working Group
[9] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[10]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[11] Personal Care Council
[12] National Institutes of Health
[13] Whole Foods Market
[14] Food and Drug Administration
[15] Quintiles England Ltd. (1996). “Skin sensitization study in the guinea pig.” Unpublished data submitted by Personal Care Products Council
[16] Zondlo, Fiume M., “Final report on the safety assessment of Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Linoleate/Oleate, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Dioleyl Tocopheryl Methylsilanol, Potassium Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Phosphate, and Tocophersolan,” International Journal of Toxicology. 2002;21 Suppl 3:51-116
[17] Personal Care Council
[18] Personal Care Council

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