Isopropyl Palmitate

An emollient ester of palmitic acid and isopropanol that gives the skin a smooth, soft, dry, non-oily after-feel. Isopropyl palmitate is listed as a common comedogenic ingredient by acne.org.
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Isopropyl Palmitate

Overview

Isopropyl palmitate is an ester of palmitic acid and isopropanol. Although it is manufactured synthetically for skincare purposes, the raw materials like palmitic acid come from plant oils.

It is mainly used as an emollient, giving the skin a smooth, soft, dry, non-oily feel. It is colorless, odorless, oily liquid.

Isopropyl Palmitate also works as a penetration enhancer, meaning that it helps other compounds to cross the skin’s lipid barrier.

There was one test on rabbit skin that reported that Isopropyl Palmitate may be comedogenic. So if you have acne-prone skin, then you may want to keep an eye on this ingredient (although it is important to remember that rabbit skin is very different to human skin and may not react in the same way). It is also listed among common comedogenic ingredients by acne.org.

Science

1
CIR Safety. Safety Assessment of Alkyl Esters as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal of Toxicology2015, Vol. 34(Supplement 2) 5S-69S
2
Guo, H., Liu, Z., Li, J., Nie, S., & Pan, W. (2006). Effects of isopropyl palmitate on the skin permeation of drugs. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 29(11), 2324–2326.
3
Nguyen, S. H., Dang, T. P., & Maibach, H. I. (2007). Comedogenicity in rabbit: some cosmetic ingredients/vehicles. Cutaneous and ocular toxicology, 26(4), 287–292.