Mixed tocopherols are defined as a source of vitamin E in supplements derived from vacuum distillation of vegetable oils, according to Drugs.com. Tocopherols come in four different forms. Life Extension magazine reveals that alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherol comprise half of all eight forms of vitamin E. The unique structural properties of these tocopherols offer distinct characteristics associated with each substance.
Vitamin E supplements are most effective when they contain a mix of all eight forms of the substance, including all four tocopherols. Smart Publications explains that mixed tocopherols describe supplements that have all four of these varieties of vitamin E in them. A 2002 study that appeared in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology claims cardiovascular disease is more effectively treated with mixed tocopherols instead of just pure alpha tocopherol.
The recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of vitamin E is 15 milligrams of alpha tocopherol per day, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Low blood concentrations of gamma tocopherol are found in patients with coronary heart disease, which suggests that higher levels of gamma tocopherol, not just alpha tocopherol, help the heart.
According to EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, tocopherols serve as antioxidants, fragrance ingredients and skin-conditioning agents in cosmetics. Using vitamin E as a skin conditioner is low-risk.