Palmitic Acid – Is Palmitic Acid Dangerous For The Atmosphere And Your Pores and skin?

Palmitic acid is a fatty acid used in skin care and cosmetic formulations. Palmitic acid is mainly used to improve the texture of products and lock in moisture in the skin.

Palmitic acid or hexadecanoic acid is the most abundant saturated fatty acid found in animals, plants and microorganisms. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats and oils in the body. As the name suggests, palmitic acid is a major component of palm oil. Palmitic acid is also found in meat, cheese, butter, and dairy products.

Palmitic acid occurs naturally throughout the human body, including the skin. When our body has an excess of carbohydrates, the carbohydrates are converted to palmitic acid and then stored as fat.

Analysis showed that palmitic acid makes up 21 to 30% of human adipose or adipose tissue. Palmitic acid is also found in the stratum corneum of the skin. The stratum corneum is the top layer of skin and consists of dead skin cells that are held together by the natural oils in our skin.

In addition to palmitic acid, the lipid barrier contains Ceramides, cholesterol, and some other fatty acids. This layer of skin or skin barrier helps protect the skin from moisture loss and prevents bacteria and allergens from damaging the skin.

the breakdown

Palmitic acid

the good: Helps prevent moisture loss, protects the skin from bacteria and allergens, and improves the texture of the products.

not that good: Palmitic acid is obtained from palm oil. So always check that the product you are using uses palm oil from sustainable sources.

For whom is that? All skin types except those who have an identified allergy.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.

Keep an eye on: Palmitic acid can also be referred to as hexadecanoic acid.

What Are The Benefits Of Palmitic Acid?

In cosmetics and skin care products, palmitic acid acts as an emollient, helps protect the skin and acts as a surfactant, emulsifier and opacifier to improve the texture of formulations.


Palmitic acid acts as a surfactant. Surfactants help mix two ingredients together, especially oil and water based ingredients. Surfactants work by reducing the surface tension between two substances. Surfactants also help remove impurities and dirt from the skin so that they can be washed off. This is possible because one end of the surfactant molecule is attracted to water while the other end is attracted to oil. Because of these properties, palmitic acid is found in many different detergents and body wash products.


Another function of palmitic acid is as an emulsifier, which is necessary for products that contain both water and oil components. When water and oil are mixed together and shaken vigorously, oil droplets are dispersed in water – and vice versa. However, when the shaking stops, the two phases begin to separate. An emulsifier such as palmitic acid can be added to the formulation to keep the ingredients mixed. This improves the texture of a product, which enables key skin care benefits to be delivered evenly.


As an opacifying agent, palmitic acid helps reduce the clear or transparent appearance of products. In addition, some opacifiers are used in facial make-up, such as: B. foundations and concealers to hide blemishes.


Palmitic acid is often found in moisturizers because of its function as an emollient. Emollients help soften and soothe the skin while also helping to lock in moisture in the skin. Plasticizers form a protective film on the surface of the skin. This film helps prevent the skin’s natural moisture from evaporating and increases skin hydration by preventing water loss. This will help maintain a healthy skin barrier and give your skin a dewy, hydrated look.

Palmitic acid benefits the skin by helping to restore the skin’s natural barrier function. Fatty acids, including palmitic acid, together with ceramides and cholesterol, form the skin’s lipid barrier. Without these essential lipids, the barrier is weakened. A weak or damaged barrier allows harmful things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, causing dryness, itching, and irritation. Skin barrier disruption has been linked to conditions such as acne, eczema, sensitive skin, and even aging. Skin care products that contain palmitic acid can help prevent these problems.

Is Palmitic Acid Bad For The Environment?

As you probably already know, palm oil has a significant impact on the environment. Palm oilThe harvest contributes to deforestation, threatens biodiversity and wildlife such as orangutans, and perpetuates poverty in areas where locals have lost their land rights. Since palmitic acid is derived from palm oil, there is a possibility that this ingredient may contribute to this effect. However, there are groups that work with local communities to develop sustainable harvesting practices. Verify that your product’s palm oil source is sustainably harvested.

Is Palmitic Acid Safe?

The safety of palmitic acid has been approved by the Expert panel for the review of cosmetic ingredients, a group responsible for evaluating the safety of skin care and cosmetic ingredients. In their investigations it was found that formulations with up to 13% are not considered to be skin irritating or skin sensitizing. Since most formulations contain less than 13% palmitic acid, it is considered a safe, non-irritating ingredient. Based on the available data from animal and human studies, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel of Experts concluded that palmitic acid is safe for use in cosmetic and skin care products.

Mieremet, A, Helder, R, Nadaban, A, Gooris, G, Boiten, W, El Ghalbzouri, A, & Bouwstra, J, 2019. “Contribution of palmitic acid to epidermal morphogenesis and lipid barrier formation in human skin equivalents”, International Journal of Molecular Sciences , vol. 20, is. 23 Lin, T, Zhong, L, & Santiago, J, 2017. “Anti-inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Vegetable Oils,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 19, is. 1. Moore, E, Wagner, C & Komarnytsky, S, 2020. “The Enigma of Bioactivity and Toxicity of Botanical Oils for Skin Care”, Frontiers Pharmacology. El Hamad, H & Castillo, R, 2016. ‘Cosmeceuticals: Peptides, Proteins, and Growth Factors, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 15, is. 4, pp. 514-519.

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