Retinyl Palmitate

Regeneration booster
Skin conditioning
CAS Number(s)
EINECS number(s)

Vitamin A, which is mainly stored in the liver as vitamin A palmitate, is often referred to as the term "Normalizing Vitamin" because it is essential not only for normal skin development but also for the growth and maintenance of bones, teeth, glands, nails, and hair. As with most other retinoids, it exerts dose-dependent effects suggesting qualitative differences in the effects caused by high and low doses. Over the last ten years, the vitamin A group received additional publicity because of the clinical studies conducted with one of its analogs - retinoic acid, which has shown a reversal of photoaging.

Retinyl Palmitate is a yellow, oily liquid, with partial crystallization that may occur in highly concentrated solutions and is a stable form of vitamin A that acts as a skin normalizer, this nutrient helps remind the cells of what they "did" when they were young. In addition, it nourishes the skin when applied topically.

Retinyl Palmitate is a clear, golden oily liquid with a faint odor that is slightly soluble in alcohol, miscible in oils, and insoluble in water. It is used in: all kinds of skin care products (primarily regenerating, nourishing, and after-sun products) usually at a use level of 0.2-0.5 %. It is formed by Retinol and Palmitic acid (obtained from palm oil). Retinyl Palmitate can't interact directly with the cell; nevertheless, thanks to specific enzymes in the skin, it converts into retinoic acid – the one that "does the job."

The active part of the molecule Retinol is a form of vitamin A – called by some "animal vitamin A" (because it is found in eggs, milk, beef, chicken, and fish oil). The compound has a small molecule that can be broken into even smaller ones, all of which belong to the "retinoid" family. (Just for reference – the form of vitamin A considered "plant form" is beta carotene, also known as - pro-vitamin A).

Retinyl palmitate is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the living cells from free radicals, considered one of the leading causes of premature aging. Neutralizing the free radicals is of high importance for preserving the excellent condition of the skin, which is why vitamin A is a critical ingredient in all kinds of creams, serums, masks, and sunscreens (in particular Vitamin A palmitate – it is widely used in all types of sun-protective skincare products). It is also believed to improve collagen and elastin synthesis and regenerate the skin on a cellular level. Its molecule is relatively small, and it quickly penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. Once absorbed, after a specific transformation, retinyl palmitate is converted to retinoic acid - the compound that is actually"  "responsible" for the above-mentioned beneficial effects.

Retinol, hexadecanoate
all-(E)-retinol palmitate
all-trans retinol palmitic acid ester
Vitamin A Palmitate

What are the benefits of Vitamin A Palmitate?

Studies have shown that if appropriately formulated and at the proper levels, retinyl palmitate can penetrate the skin and impart similar benefits but without the side effects of other retinoids. The most important benefits are:

  • Penetration into the skin
  • Anti-keratinization
  • Increase in skin elasticity
  • Thickening of the epidermis and the dermis
  • Normalization of dry, dehydrated skin
  • Reversal of photodamage
  • Reduction of scaliness and normalization of the scalp when used in hair care products.

Is Retinyl Palmitate a safe ingredient?

The CIR expert panel concludes that Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol are safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practice of use and concentration.