Combination of retinol (pure vitamin A) and the fatty acid palmitic acid. Research has shown it to be an effective antioxidant when applied to skin. You may be surprised to learn that retinyl palmitate is found naturally in our skin, where it works as an antioxidant, particularly in regard to helping protect skin from UV light exposure—though it does not replace the need for sunscreen.
Reports that retinyl palmitate is not a safe ingredient are false. They’re based on a study from nearly 20 years ago that has never been reproduced or tested under real-life conditions such as how people use sunscreens that contain this ingredient. In addition, to date, there is no scientific evidence that retinyl palmitate is a carcinogen in humans. The safety of retinyl palmitate is supported by several accredited organizations and their opinions are widely available online. If you still have concerns, we encourage you to research the topic further.
References for this information:
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, February 2016, pages 394-403
Acta Biochimica Polonica, 2015, pages 201-206
Clinical Interventions in Aging, December 2006, pages 327-348
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, November 2003, pages 1163-1167
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!