Crabtree to offer more super vitamin E sunscreens

KUALA LUMPUR: A well-dressed 30-something-year-old man walks into a Crabtree & Evelyn outlet and picks up a set of moisturiser and sunscreen.

After attending to his purchase, Crabtree & Evelyn (M) Sdn Bhd regional manager of Asia affiliates Leong Mei Yuen says the men's range was selling fast among middle-to-high-income earners.

Crabtree & Evelyn is a Malaysian-owned retailer of luxury personal care items. It is part of the plantations and property conglomerate Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

Leong picks up an after-shave lotion and said: "Men find this helps razor-cut wounds heal faster. Golfers and fishing enthusiasts are also happy with our sunblocks because it is proven to be effective against sunburns."

"The active ingredient in the product are tocotrienols," she said in a recent interview. Extracted from palm oil, tocotrienols are part of the Vitamin E family that include tocopherols.

Leong says tocotrienol-fortified products are gaining popularity because medical studies show tocotrienols are 60 times more effective than tocopherols at protecting the skin from the damaging effects of over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) sunrays, pollution, stress and smoking.

When we walk out into the sun, skin cells exposed to UV-rays generate huge amount of superoxide radicals in our body, causing serious damage to surrounding cells. Pro-longed and extensive cell damage surface as wrinkles on the skin.

Will a regular vitamin E-enriched moisturiser help? Leong shakes her head and says it is not effective.

"Currently, what most face cream, body butter and moisturiser in the market offer is tocopheryl acetate, a derivative of the common vitamin E tocopherols," Leong says. "There is not much benefit, given its ester form. The only advantage is tocopherols being a preservative for the product, thus increasing the shelf life while allowing a claim to 'contain vitamin E'," she adds.

Citing a string of scientific studies carried out in the US, Malaysia and Hong Kong, she explains tocotrienols or 'super vitamin E' remain in the skin at greater concentrations and even help preserve tocopherol levels in the skin.

As society progress, discerning consumers seek anti-aging solutions backed by medical evidence.

Crabtree & Evelyn has incorporated this super vitamin E in its men's range since 2007. Leong says, "by October, we plan to launch a new moisturiser and sunscreen range for women that will incorporate the superb healing and protective powers of tocotrienols."

Founded in 1973, Crabtree & Evelyn, now, has 350 outlets throughout the world. To a query if Crabtree & Evelyn is a British brand, Leong replies, "we're of American origin, fashioned after nature-inspired traditional English apothecary and proudly owned by Malaysians."

Medical studies on tocotrienols carried out throughout the world...

Tocotrienols can be consumed orally or/and topically used in skin care products due to its healing properties -- Packer, U. Stefan Weber, G. Rimbach (2001) Molecular Aspects of á-tocotrienol Antioxidant Action and Cell Signalling J. Nutr. 131:369S–373S.

Although alpha-tocopherols are used in the majority of face creams and nutritional supplements on the market, tocotrienols are actually far more potent as an antioxidant: up to 60 times more effective compare to tocopherols -- E. Serbinova, V. Kagan, D Han & L Packer (1991) Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of á-tocopherol and á-tocotrienol Free Radic Biol Med; 10: 263–275.

Topical application of tocotrienol-enriched moisturiser will help retain tocopherols in the skin -- D. P. Steenvoorden & G. Beijersbergen van Henegouwen (1999) Protection against UV-induced systemic immunosuppression in mice by a single topical application of the antioxidant vitamins C and E. Int J Radiat Biol. 75: 747-755.

If one were to consume tocotrienol rich fraction softgels [beauty from within regime], tocotrienols are 15 times more likely to accumulate in the skin layers than tocopherols -- Ikeda, T, Niwa & K, Yamashita (2000) Selective uptake of dietary tocotrienols into rat skin. J Nutr Sci-Vitaminol. 46: 141-143.

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