Alpha Tocopherol

Tocopherol is the name of one of four forms of vitamin E. These four forms are d-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate, dl-alpha tocopherol and dl-alpha tocopherol acetate. The prefix "d" indicates that the product originates from natural sources, such as vegetable oils or wheat germ; whereas the "dl" prefix indicates that the vitamin was created from a synthetic base.
Research has shown that natural forms of vitamin E are more effective than their synthetic counterparts, but both have antioxidant activity. You will most often find vitamin E listed as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate on the ingredient list.
Vitamin E is a naturally occurring component of healthy skin and its second most abundant antioxidant after ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It offers significant antioxidant properties to help protect against pollution and other environmental stressors that would otherwise weaken the skin and cause unwanted changes.
In skin care formulas, vitamin E also acts as a good supporting ingredient. For example, in vitamin C products, vitamin E will donate a key electron that vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) needs to stabilize itself. Vitamin E also works well with other antioxidants such as rosemary, ferulic acid and the amino acid taurine.
Claims of using vitamin E to prevent scarring when the skin is injured have yet to be confirmed by published scientific research.
Vitamin E (tocopherol) can visibly improve hyperpigmentation when used at a concentration of 1%. Typically, smaller amounts are used in skin care for the benefit of antioxidants and to help maintain the stability of delicate ingredients.
Tocopherol, which is used in skin care, is almost always supplied as an oil, as it comes from sources such as soy, rice bran or linseed oils. It has a characteristic yellow to gold or even light brown color and subtle smell. However, depending on the supplier, tocopherol can also be clear (transparent) to pale yellow. It will oxidize and darken in color from exposure to air and light.