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Ethylhexyl Palmitate - Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

A Natural Emollient From Palm Oil

Also known as octyl palmitate, ethylhexyl palmitate is derived from palm oil and is used in cosmetics to serve several different purposes. A colorless and odorless liquid at room temperature, this substance is used as an emollient, or skin moisturizer, and also as a lubricant, solvent and carrying agent.

Used as a lubricant and emollient, products containing this substance can help give skin a soft, smooth and youthful appearance. Carrying agents are often used to adjust the consistency of a cosmetic product or as an adhesive to hold powders together in a cake or tablet. It is often used as a natural replacement for silicone and can be found in products like lotions, exfoliating cleansers and body washes. Because it won’t interfere with active ingredients, it is also sometimes used as a solvent in sunscreens.

Is It Safe?

After being studied and tested closely by researchers, ethylhexyl palmitate is widely considered safe by health professionals for use in cosmetic products. It is not suspected that this substance is harmful or toxic to humans. Products containing this substance have been known in a few cases to cause allergic reactions and irritation of sensitive skin, particularly around the eyes, but few cosmetic products include high enough concentrations to cause these problems.

Ecological Concerns

Environmental scientists have concerns related to products that use palm oil, and by some estimates, this includes about fifty percent of all packaged goods. This is because palm oil cultivation results in mass deforestation and consequently loss of habitat for endangered species. Air pollution and soil erosion are also related to the cultivation of palm oil. From a humanitarian standpoint, it is also believed that palm oil cultivation has wrongfully displaced many indigenous people.

Many cosmetic lines use ethylhexyl palmitate, including the Vivite line of skin care products. VIVITÉ is a medical grade family of products used to restore the health of your skin. This line of skin care products contains many natural ingredients.