ethylhexyl palmitate

Ethylhexyl Palmitate at a Glance

  • Helps soften and smooth skin
  • Reduces moisture loss from skin’s upper layers
  • Can help active ingredients more readily penetrate skin
  • Is used as an alternative to silicone in some skin care products

Ethylhexyl Palmitate Description

Ethylhexyl palmitate is a mixture of a fatty alcohol and palmitic acid that functions in cosmetics products as an emollient (meaning it can soften and smooth skin), texture enhancer, and solvent in amounts from 2–50%, depending on the type of formula and desired aesthetics. It improves the look of skin, particularly dry skin, by helping reduce moisture loss from its upper layers. As a solvent, it helps solubilise other ingredients, helping active ingredients more readily penetrate skin. It helps sunscreen active ingredients such as avobenzone and ethylhexyl triazone disperse and remain evenly suspended in a formula.

Ethylhexyl palmitate has a feel like some silicones and silicone derivatives, making it an alternative to those ingredients in certain formulations. There’s no research indicating this ingredient, which may be synthetic, plant-, or animal-derived, is a problem for skin. Paula’s Choice Skincare uses either the synthetic or plant-derived form of this ingredient depending on the product.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate References

Dermatology Clinics and Research, August 2019, pages 239-271
Clinical Medicine and Research, December 2017, pages 75–87
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 34, Issue 2, Supplement, September 2015, pages 5S–69S
Molecules, February 2015, pages 2,492–2,509
British Journal of Dermatology, October 2010, pages 695-703

See ester emollient

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!