Natural vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and vital to the nutrition of the skin. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a preservative! Anti-oxidants are meant to stabilize the oil portion of a cream so that it does not oxidize and go rancid. A preservative is any substance which provides broad-spectrum activity to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold in products containing water.
Many people will apply it directly to the skin and think it is beneficial, but for best results, add 1-2 % to a natural cream, lotion or carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. The molecules are dispersed effectively, absorb faster into the skin and will save you a lot of money. Pure vitamin E is only soluble in other oils, fats, creams or lotions. It is insoluble in water and water based products.