Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of free radicals formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Scientists are researching whether vitamin E might help mitigate the advance of chronic illness including skin disease initiated by free radicals.

As an informed consumer, you should know there is a definite difference between natural Vitamin E and synthetic Vitamin E.  When reading a supplement label, natural Vitamin E is shown as d-alpha tocopherol or d-alpha tocopherol succinate or d-alpha tocopherol acetate.  Now, if you pick up a bottle and the prefix is dl-alpha, you are holding the synthetic version.

  • Nature’s Vitamin E = d-alpha-tocopherol *
  • Synthesized Vitamin E = dl-alpha-tocopherol*

Vitamin E occurs naturally in many foods.  Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, mustard greens, broccoli), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans) and seeds (pumpkin & sunflower). This type of Vitamin E is the most biologically active.The richest source of Vitamin E is wheat germ, but that isn’t an ingredient of choice for people who seek gluten free. To be certain, a call to the manufacturer may be in order.  For the gluten-free market, Natural vitamin E supplements made from non-GMO sunflower oil, corn oil or cottonseed oil are available.

The natural form is the superior form. It matches what your body expects and is better absorbed and utilized than its synthetic copycat. Research on Vitamin E has shown**:

  • The body retains natural vitamin E in the tissues longer than the synthetic
  • Natural vitamin E is twice as effective as the synthetic form
  • Natural vitamin E is more bioavailable (the degree to which it is utilized in a living body).

Anti-oxidants are agents that defend the body against free radicals.  Very simply defined, a free-radical is a molecule that damages collagen in the skin. The loss of collagen contributes to loss of moisture, allows wrinkles, crows feet and the teeny tiny fine lines that morph into permanent creases. Your skin is an external organ exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It takes a beating from various sources every day.

What is the point of all this in a skin-care blog?  While it is ideal and important to get a large supply of your vitamin E from the foods you consume, you simply cannot eat enough to treat skin issues directly.  Topical application is necessary and best achieved by finding products that are nutritive on your skin.  We choose to make products with organic oils, keeping them cool and stored in the dark so that we preserve the natural vitamin E content in our raw materials. In addition, we boost the “E” content in our soaps with the direct addition of a non-GMO, gluten-free sunflower based, natural vitamin E to prevent oxidation of the soap and its nutrients.

REF:  * www.acgrace.com/natural-vs-synthetic and **Juvenon Health Journal Volume 2 number 9 September 2003