Tocopherol acetate is a chemical compound of vitamin e and acetic acid. It’s other name is Vitamin E Acetate. Tocopherol, (vitamin E), is present in many natural sources: milk, wheat germ oil, plant leaves, vegetable oils, (safflower, corn, soybean, cottonseed and sunflower), yellow vegetables, unprocessed cereals, grains and nuts. Tocopherol is twice as potent from natural sources than made synthetically.

SUPPLEMENTS – Benefits of Vitamin E – Cautions

Vitamin E can be a dietary supplement in natural or synthetic form. Vitamin E protects cells from free radical damage, increases muscular development, helps prevent anemia and protects the body from losing vitamin A and C. Synthetic dietary supplements flush excess out of the body but burden the kidneys. The body is unable to utilize most of its nutrients.

There are always cautions to heed when taking dietary supplements. Read all ingredient labels closely. Know the proper dosage. Certain dietary supplements can interact and interfere with prescribed medications. If in doubt, contact your health care provider before taking any supplements.


Vitamin E is used in skin, hair or body care beauty products: creams, lotions, soaps, cosmetics, sunscreens, shampoos and conditioners. It attacks free radicals and protects collagen levels. Visible signs of skin aging are reduced. Fine lines and wrinkles are eliminated with firmer skin. Caution! When tocopherol acetate is used in cosmetic or skin care products it may cause adverse affects: itching, rashes, hives or contact dermatitis.

For making home crafts, (soaps, lotions, creams, etc…) tocopherol acetate will not fight mold, bacteria or yeasts. It will extend the shelf life of an unstable oil.


There are different types of tocopherol. You will notice a distinction between them with the prefix letters, d or dl. The prefix letter d indicates it came from a natural source. The dl prefix indicates it was made synthetically. The various names on the labels could read, “d-alpha tocopherol, “dl-alpha tocopherol”, “d-alpha tocopherol acetate” or “dl-alpha tocopherol acetate”. The natural version is reddish-gold in color. The synthetic version is clear in color.

D-alpha tocopherol is made from natural sources. It’s the most biodegradable form, preferred by the body. It’s better absorbed and retained for a longer time in the body. It has antioxidants! It attacks free radicals. It protects the skin, somewhat, from damaging UV rays.

DL- alpha tocopherol is the synthetic version of vitamin e, developed in laboratories around the world. It’s found in many commercial products. Dl-alpha tocopherol does not contain the same nutrients as naturally derived d-alpha tocopherol. Manufacturers use the dl version because it’s cheap to make.

Caution! The dl version in body care products can disrupt the endocrine system, cause toxic effects and enhance skin cancer, caused by UV-B radiation.

Caution! Tocopherol acetate can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by a skin bleaching chemical, hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is commonly used in skin lightening products. Hydroquinone is banned in Japan, Australia and Europe, due to toxic concerns. The FDA approved hydroquinone but since August 29, 2006 has revoked its approval by stating, “hydroquinone cannot be ruled out as a potential carcinogen”. The FDA currently classifies it as safe, as currently used. It can be effective for skin lightening when used properly. It can also cause skin sensitivity. Currently, in the USA, over the counter topical products, with up to 2% hydroquinone, may be sold without a prescription. Prescription skin lightening products may contain up to 4% hydroquinone.

So, you make the choice! Don’t just fall for the “contains vitamin E” gimmick! Stay as close to nature as possible. Check your ingredient labels closely for the d or dl prefix!

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