Most people don’t realise that there are two types of Vitamin E…natural and synthetic.
Natural vitamin E
Vitamin E exists in 8 different forms… alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols and tocotrienols.
The most biologically active form of the vitamin is called Alpha-tocopherol, this is the prefferred form of vitamin E that is more readily absorbed and used by the body.
Hence natural vitamin E is more beneficial to the skin when used in a formulation… acting more as a very potent antioxidant on the skin cells itself as opposed to the oil component of the product.
Natural vitamin E is labelled d-alphatocopherol, d-alhpa tocopherol acetate or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate but can sometimes appear as mixed tocopherol.
Natural vitamin E as the name implies is also derived from natural sources.
Synthetic Vitamin E
Synthetic Vitamin E is more suitable as an antioxidant on the oils used in the products and so is a better antioxidant to prevent rancidity in oils compared to natural vitamin E.
conversly, it is not as effective in providing antioxidant benefits to the skin.
Synthetic Vitamin E is generally derived from petroleum products.
Synthetic Vitamin E is chemically recognised as dl-alpha tocopherol or any other variation starting with dl.
Therefore it is advisable to use both forms of vitamin E in formulations to prevent oxidation in both the product and skin.
A 50/50 ratio of both forms will ususaly make a good combination.