Tocopherol acetate in skincare: useful or useless?
I never use (α-)tocopherol acetate when formulating skincare as I have never understood its topical value.
1. It’s useless as antioxidant for the product thus will not inhibit rancidity.
And I still doubt the value for the skin.
2. Can it even be metabolized to its free unesterized form in the skin c.q does it have any benefit when applied topically?
Under certain circumstances (regarding photoprotective effect) it seems to metabolize to its free form in hairless mice. Source
Though in a double blind study amongst 19 men and women they concluded that“In summary, we have determined that alpha-tocopherol acetate is not metabolized to the free form of alpha-tocopherol in plasma or skin. Source
These are only two, but there are so many studies regarding the subject. Not only do some seem to contradict, but some studies are performed on either only laboratory animals or only a small selection of humans. (The advantage being that the latter are mostly done double blind.)
I don’t understand if the matter seems so unsure/dependant on so many factors, then why is tocopherol acetate so overabundant in creams, no matter the brand, targeted audience or indication for its use?
Is it just because CIR/SCCS/FDA state it’s safe in used concentrations and vitamins sound healthy, so why not choose the cheapest form?
I’m very eager to hear your views!
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