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On Tocopheryl Acetate

On Tocopheryl Acetate


Tocopheryl acetate is a chemical compound that consists of acetic acid and tocopherol (vitamin E); in cosmetics, especially, its stability as compared to some other sources of vitamin E is valued. The EWG rates it very low when evaluated as a carcinogen. Concerns with it being contaminated with hydroquinone are well-warranted; if contaminated, tocopheryl acetate would become a health concern. When you see tocopheryl acetate in Omiana products, our pure tocopheryl acetate does not contain hydroquinone. 


There are a slew of forms of the entire vitamin E molecule, which are either synthetically or naturally derived: d-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate, dl-alpha tocopherol, and dl-alpha tocopherol acetate. The “d” in front of the “alpha” denotes that the product is from natural sources, such as vegetable oils or wheat germ; the “dl” prefix indicates that the vitamin was created from a synthetic base.


Tocopherol, or vitamin e, is a fat-soluble vitamin; it and other ingredients from tocopherol are commonly found in vitamins, hair-care products, and cosmetics. Esters of tocopherol are often used in cosmetics and personal care products. These esters include tocopheryl acetate, the acetic acid ester of tocopherol. The FDA lists tocopherols as Generally Regarded As Safe when used in accordance with good manufacturing practice. To reiterate, our pure tocopheryl acetate does not contain hydroquinone.

Naturally occurring vitamin E can be unstable in cosmetic formulations. Alpha tocopherol can be, purportedly, susceptible to UV irradiation, being rapidly converted to tocopheroxy radicals that use up other antioxidants. Use of the ester of alpha tocopherol helps overcome this. Tocopheryl acetate is bioconverted to its biologically active form, vitamin E, within the skin when applied topically. Studies show that topical use of tocopherol and alpha tocopheryl acetate are more effective than dietary supplementation in increasing the vitamin E content of the skin!


Largely, in two cases. If you know you react to it, as we can all react to something even seemingly innocuous, and/or if you are ingesting it:

If we were manufacturing vitamins or consumables, we would choose a source of vitamin E that was not tocopheryl acetate because when it comes to being used in the body, tocopheryl acetate does not absorb particularly well. Sort of how if you can choose folate over folic acid, folate absorbs much better. Natural sources of vitamin E can provide a fat-soluble vitamin composed of naturally occurring compounds. Each compound exhibits different biological activities, albeit d-alpha tocopherol purportedly has the most valuable biological activity and is the most widely available form of vitamin E available for absorption into the body.

However, with natural makeup, wherein specific pHs are of focus as to keep your pure formulas safe and less inclined toward any contamination, tocopheryl acetate (that does not contain hydroquinone), with its incredible stability, is a boss at aiding in natural preservation. If it makes sense to our formulas' stability for you, you will see it in some products with us. If you prefer to shop products without it, just use the sidebar filter and select 'no tocopherol acetate.'

Cosmetic products contain vitamin E from other sources, then, if not tocopheryl acetate. Vitamin E can come from soy (many of our customers are sensitive to soy), palm (many dislike palm because of practices used in its harvesting), and wheat, leading to being a source of gluten (many companies do not know where their vitamin E comes from and/or if it does come from wheat, they may deem it a 'trace' value and not disclose this fact.)

Vitamin E is valuable in cosmetics, especially natural cosmetics, for stability that it can offer a formula. How do you weigh in, then? Tocopheryl acetate without hydroquinone vs. natural sources of vitamin E, often from soy, wheat, palm, and the like?

To find your perfect formulas with Omiana, shop your preferred collections, use the sidebar filter, and read over the fully-disclosed ingredient lists on each page as well as the ingredient page. Please contact us anytime, too!

Thank you for your care and acumen!


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