Ascorbyl Palmitate

A form of vitamin C derived from ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. It is more stable and less irritating than ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, Ascorbyl Palmitate lacks the studies to prove its anti-wrinkle efficacy.
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Ascorbyl Palmitate

Overview

Ascorbyl palmitate is a lipid-soluble form of ascorbic acid/vitamin C.

You can read more about regular ascorbic acid (AA) here - Ascorbic Acid - to learn about its mechanism of action. In short, it is a skin-natural antioxidant, collagen boosting, and anti-pigment ingredient that unfortunately has some major stability and skin penetration problems (especially when exposed to light, air, or moisture).

Ascorbic acid derivatives such as Ascorbyl palmitate were developed in an attempt to resolve these issues and create a more potent and practical version of vitamin C for use in skincare products.

Ascorbyl palmitate is derived from ascorbic acid, a.k.a. vitamin C, and palmitic acid, a long-chain saturated fatty acid. It has a citrus-like smell and is readily soluble in lipids, unlike regular ascorbic acid which is strictly water-soluble.

Experiments on mice show that ascorbyl palmitate retains its antioxidant activity as well as its vitamin C-like properties. This is most likely because, after absorption, the cells can cut off the palmitate part and use the ascorbic acid by itself.

According to the stability experiments, ascorbyl palmitate is more stable and less prone to degradation and browning than regular ascorbic acid, but only if incorporated into an emulsion. The addition of palmitate gives it new technological properties - it can be used to create delivery systems that help with the penetration of other ingredients into the skin.

It is considered safe and less irritating than regular ascorbic acid.

When it comes to its skincare benefits, it is safe to say that we are still mostly in the dark. One older experiment performed in test tubes suggests that ascorbyl palmitate might have some undesirable oxidative effects on skin cells following exposure to UV light.

The problem is that we don't know if the same thing happens in real life. There is only one other study with ascorbyl palmitate, this time a clinical study on real humans. It reports that ascorbyl palmitate is absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin when incorporated into lipid carriers.

Unfortunately, we don't have any studies comparing the efficiency of ascorbyl palmitate to regular ascorbic acid when it comes to all the desirable anti-aging and collagen-promoting effects.

Science

1
Andersen, F. A. (1999). Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate, Ascorbyl Stearate, Erythorbic Acid, and sodium Erythorbate. International Journal of Toxicology, 18(3_suppl), 1–26.
2
Khan, H., Akhtar, N., Ali, A., Khan, H., Sohail, M., Naeem, M., & Nawaz, Z. (2016). PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL STABILITY ANALYSIS OF COSMETIC MULTI- PLE EMULSIONS LOADED WITH ASCORBYL PALMITATE AND SODIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE SALTS. Acta poloniae pharmaceutica, 73(5), 1339–1349.
3
Jurkovic, P., Sentjurc, M., Gasperlin, M., Kristl, J., & Pecar, S. (2003). Skin protection against ultraviolet induced free radicals with ascorbyl palmitate in microemulsions. European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V, 56(1), 59–66.
4
Janesirisakule, S., Sinthusake, T., & Wanichwecharungruang, S. (2013). Nanocarrier with self-antioxidative property for stabilizing and delivering ascorbyl palmitate into skin. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 102(8), 2770–2779.
5
Meves, A., Stock, S. N., Beyerle, A., Pittelkow, M. R., & Peus, D. (2002). Vitamin C derivative ascorbyl palmitate promotes ultraviolet-B-induced lipid peroxidation and cytotoxicity in keratinocytes. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 119(5), 1103–1108.
6
Uner, M., Wissing, S. A., Yener, G., & Müller, R. H. (2005). Skin moisturizing effect and skin penetration of ascorbyl palmitate entrapped in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) incorporated into hydrogel. Die Pharmazie, 60(10), 751–755.