Is Vitamin E a hormone disruptor?

Suzanne says…I’m an esthetician with a 60-year-old client who said she won’t use any product with vitamin E (among many other ingredients). She claims that the vitamin E is from soy, and since she is extremely sensitive to hormonal disruptors, she can’t use it. I can find nothing on the internet about sources of vit E. And I wonder, even if it is derived from soy, is there any constituent of the soy left to have such an effect?

The Beauty Brains respond:

First, it’s true that soy is used as a source of vitamin E. In fact it’s THE major source even though other plant oils, like wheat germ,  have a higher vitamin E content.

Second, I think the concern is not that there are “soy constituents” present in vitamin E but rather that the vitamin E itself may interfere with hormones. However, the data here is conflicting: I found one study that says Vitamin E acts like estrogen and another that says it may block estrogen receptors. But it is well established that vitamin E can penetrate the skin. So, if your client is really that sensitive to hormonal disruptors it’s probably wise to err on the side of caution and avoid the use of vitamin E in her skin care treatments.