Tocopherol refers to a group of molecules known as Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant essential for healthy skin. Higher levels are found in the dermis than the epidermis. Vitamin E is delivered to the skin through sebum, but can be applied topically, especially in cases where the diet is lacking.  Vitamin E absorbs UV energy and reacts with reactive oxygen species (ROS) which protects the skin from UV-induced free radical damage and provides protection from the damaging effects of UV radiation. It is also able to provide anti-inflammatory properties within the skin. These effects are enhanced when combined with vitamin C.  It is added to skincare for its ability to protect collagen from degradation by ROS. 

The lipid-soluble properties of vitamin E allow for its absorption to the deepest layers of stratum corneum. Here it is able to in cooperate into cell membranes and provide protection from oxidative stress. Vitamin is also showing to be effective at reducing hyperpigmentation caused by UV exposure.