What Is Vitamin E?

Tocopherols are a naturally occurring family of compounds that have vitamin E activity. Because of their ability to shield the skin from free radical damage and reinforce the skin barrier, they are used in skincare products.Tocopherols' vitamin activity was discovered in 1936.

Tocotrienols, which are similar molecules, also have vitamin E activity. There are four tocopherols and four tocotrienols; all eight compounds are properly known as ‘vitamin E.' Alpha-tocopherol is the most abundant and biologically active component in the body among those eight compounds.

Tocopherols are most commonly present in skincare products in the forms of d-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, dl-alpha tocopherol, and dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate.

  • The “d” prefix preceding the “alpha” means that the product was obtained from natural sources, such as oils, nuts, or grains. 
  • The “dl” prefix signifies that the ingredient was produced from a synthetic base.

Vitamin E can be found naturally in avocado, squash, and wheat germ oil, but it can also be obtained synthetically. Unlike other synthetic foods, natural forms of vitamin E may be more active than the synthetic form, according to some reports.

Another factor to remember when determining whether to use a synthetic or natural form of vitamin E is that natural vitamin E, being a naturally-sourced component, must go through multiple steps to purify the ingredient and eliminate pesticides and other plant products. This is one of the reasons that using naturally sourced vitamin E is more costly.

How Vitamin E Works?

Tocopherols, also known as vitamin E, help to strengthen the visible symptoms of ageing, reinforce the skin's natural barrier, and provide antioxidants to the skin.

Vitamin E is used to help protect the skin's natural barrier, maintain moisture, regenerate the skin, and provide antioxidant properties to the skin.Vitamin E is safe for all skin types with the exception of those who have reported sensitivity or allergy to it.

What Vitamin E Does To The Skin?

Vitamin E protects and helps the skin via the following properties;

  • Antioxidant properties: Tocopherol, specifically as alpha-tocopherol, is used in a wide range of skincare products due to its potent antioxidant activity.

Vitamin E was dubbed a "chain-breaking" antioxidant in the 1940s due to its role in stopping the chain reaction triggered by free radicals. Tocopherols, in fact, operate by supplying a hydrogen atom to free radicals, reducing their harmful effects.

Tocopherols are fat-soluble and are inserted into cell membranes to guard against oxidative damage. This is important because free radicals lead to the emergence of ageing symptoms including fine lines, wrinkles, sagging eyes, and age spots.

  • Protection against sun damage: Major evidence indicates that topically applied vitamin E has photoprotective efficacy against erythema, edoema, sunburn cell development, and other markers of acute UV-induced injury, as well as responses to chronic UVA and UVB exposure, such as skin wrinkling and skin cancer.

According to research, vitamin E could be able to guard against the adverse effects of UV rays. The mechanism of action is similar to that of vitamin C, in that it acts as an antioxidant to counteract the effects of free radicals caused by sun exposure.

  • Acts as a skin barrier: Topically applied vitamin E appears to have photoprotective effectiveness against erythema, edoema, sunburn cell growth, and other indicators of acute UV-induced damage, as well as responses to chronic UVA and UVB exposure, such as skin wrinkling and skin cancer.

According to findings, vitamin E may be able to defend against the detrimental effects of UV rays. It works similarly to vitamin C in that it serves like an antioxidant to combat the effects of free radicals induced by sun exposure. According to tests, vitamin C strengthens UVA protection while vitamin E guards against UVB radiation.,

  • Helps dry skin: Vitamin E, especially in oil-based formulations, can aid in the reduction of the appearance of dry skin. It can also assist in the reduction of flakiness and the preservation of safe barrier structure. 

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