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Wondering what cetyl palmitate is and why it’s in your skincare products or cosmetics? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you understand what this compound is and why it’s used in skincare.
The good news is that cetyl palmitate is a good skincare ingredient. It offers moisturizing skin benefits and can also act as a thickening agent to give products their ideal viscosity. While it’s synthetically produced it’s considered a safe ingredient to use and it won’t clog your pores. Interested in this ingredient yet?
What Is Cetyl Palmitate?
Cetyl palmitate is a fatty acid ester, meaning it’s made from the combination of a fatty acid with an alcohol. In its pure form, it’s typically found as white, waxy flakes, and it melts at a very low temperature of around 109° F.
This product is derived from the coconuts of palm trees and vegetable sources, which contain palmitic acid. This is combined with cetyl alcohol, which is also derived from palm trees, to create cetyl palmitate. This product is 100% plant-derived.
What Are The Uses & Benefits Of Cetyl Palmitate?
Why use cetyl palmitate in skincare? Here are a few benefits of using this ingredient in face masks, lotion, creams, and other emollient skincare products.
- Hydrate Skin – Cetyl palmitate, along with other oils and acids, can help carry hydration deeply into your skin, moisturizing it to improve its overall texture and health.
- No “greasy” feeling – Like other esters, cetyl palmitate helps eliminate the filmy, greasy feeling that is common among oily skincare products, and ensures proper absorption of creams and lotions into the skin.
- Thickening agent – Similar to other common esters like cetearyl olivate, cetyl palmitate functions as a thickening agent for emollients and other skin conditioning products, providing a thick and luxurious sensation when applying the product to the skin.
Is Cetyl Palmitate Vegan?
Yes. While cetyl palmitate does naturally occur in some animals – sperm whales, for example – it is not harvested from any animal. In the past, it was primarily derived from sperm whales, but this is no longer an efficient, ethical, or cost-effective way of obtaining the ingredient, due to advances in modern manufacturing.
Today, cetyl palmitate is primarily made out of natural ingredients derived from palm trees, so it is completely vegan.
However, you should know that palm oil, which is what palmitic acid is derived from, has caused some environmental concerns related to the farming of palm trees and rainforest deforestation in countries like Indonesia.
If you wish to buy only “green” products, it may be worth avoiding products that contain cetyl palmitate, or to buy products derived from sustainable palm oil.
Is Cetyl Palmitate Safe In Skincare?
Yes. Cetyl palmitate is not known to cause any serious allergic reactions, or to have any negative effects when absorbed through the skin. It is considered safe to use, though it may irritate the eyes slightly with excessive contact.
Also Known As
Cetyl palmitate is also known as hexadecyl hexadecanoate, but this labeling is not commonly used in modern cosmetics and skincare labels. It may also be referred to as palmityl palmitate, hexadecyl ester, cetin, or Standamul 1616, among other names.