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Dangerous Contamination in Synthetic Vitamin E

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Many do not realize they are receiving synthetic vitamin E over natural vitamin E. Synthetic vitamin E is an ingredient to avoid in skincare because of the likely contamination with a carcinogenic.


The hidden truth behind skincare products is there can be deadly byproducts from when the ingredient was manufactured. In the United States skincare products have FDA guidelines to adhere to, but with no strict enforcement.


"Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA." [1]

- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2019


Vitamin E is an antioxidant used to prolong the shelf-life of skincare products. To reduce costs a synthetic vitamin E, tocopheryl acetate, is commonly used instead of natural vitamin E, tocopherol.


Natural Vitamin E: tocopherol (d alpha-tocopherol)

Synthetic Vitamin E: tocopheryl acetate (dl alpha-tocopheryl)


The danger arises from hydroquione contamination when natural vitamin E is chemically synthesized into tocopheryl acetate. Hydroquione is a well-known carcinogen, it alone causes damage to your DNA [2]. It is a highly dangerous chemical.


In 2016 the Journal of Chromatographic Science released an article that examined the identification and screening of hydroquione [3]. The study examined 95 skincare products for contamination. Out of the 95 products, 52 failed. They ran tests on various batches related to the same product; some batches would fail while others would pass. While good manufacturing decreases the likelihood of hydroquione contamination, there is no quick and simple test to ensure there is no contamination.


The troubling part is products are being sold on the market today that contain hydroquione. It is not listed as an ingredient, or with a warning of possible contamination. These skincare corporations are fully aware of the risk they are subjecting to their customers. Their leadership team placed more value in a cheaper product than the safety of their customers.


Consumers need to be aware to avoid skincare products with the ingredient tocopheryl acetate. Now you know a skincare company that will always put your health first. At Noctua Soap Co all our products are 100% natural and safe.


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[1] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). FDA Authority Over Cosmetics: How Cosmetics Are Not FDA-Approved. [online] Available at: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-laws-regulations/fda-authority-over-cosmetics-how-cosmetics-are-not-fda-approved-are-fda-regulated [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].

[2] Francisco J. Enguita and Ana Lúcia Leitão, “Hydroquinone: Environmental Pollution, Toxicity, and Microbial Answers,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2013, Article ID 542168, 14 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/542168.

[3] Pascal Gimeno, Annie-Françoise Maggio, Marjorie Bancilhon, Nelly Lassu, Hervé Gornes, Charlotte Brenier, Laurent Lempereur, HPLC–UV Method for the Identification and Screening of Hydroquinone, Ethers of Hydroquinone and Corticosteroids Possibly Used as Skin-Whitening Agents in Illicit Cosmetic Products, Journal of Chromatographic Science, Volume 54, Issue 3, 1 March 2016, Pages 343–352, https://doi.org/10.1093/chromsci/bmv147

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