tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E acetate)
What is it?Vitamin E, or tocopherol, a fat-soluble vitamin, is a naturally occurring antioxidant which can be isolated from vegetable oil. At Tom’s of Maine we use vitamin E acetate (tocopheryl acetate); it is a more stable version of vitamin E that is typically used in cosmetic formulation. Also, vitamin E acetate is frequently the source of vitamin E in dietary supplements.
What does it do?Vitamin E acetate’s primary function is as an antioxidant. It is also a well known skin conditioning ingredient. This skin conditioning property makes it an ideal material for deodorant products for pre- and post-shaving care of the underarm.
What are the alternatives?There are many antioxidants on the market. Besides vitamin E, another commonly used natural antioxidant is vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Oxidative reactions are often catalyzed by metals; therefore chelating agents (such as citric acid and phytic acid) may also be helpful antioxidants. There are many synthetic antioxidants that Tom’s of Maine would not consider using since they do not meet our requirements of being sourced in nature and minimally processed. These synthetics include propyl gallate, tertiary butylhydroquinone, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene or the chelating agent EDTA.
What are the risks?Vitamin E acetate is ingested as a dietary supplement by many people daily. It has been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). It is also commonly used as a food preservative. Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.
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