Ascorbyl Palmitate



Ascorbyl Palmitate at a glance

  • Made by combining ascorbic acid with palmitic acid
  • Not considered as effective as pure vitamin C
  • Has a powerful synergy with vitamin E (tocopherol and derivatives)
  • Often used to help stabilise air-sensitive skin care ingredients
  • Also used as a food additive to improve stability of oils

Ascorbyl Palmitate description

Ascorbyl palmitate is a stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C that is made by combining ascorbic acid with a fatty acid known as palmitic acid. It’s also known as ascorbyl-6 palmitate, and it is effective up to a pH of 6. Pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) requires a pH of 3.5 or lower to work, making ascorbyl palmitate easier to formulate with. Although ascorbyl palmitate has antioxidant benefit for skin, research has shown it doesn’t penetrate as well as pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and that its conversion to vitamin C isn’t as efficient as other forms (such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate). This helps explain why ascorbyl palmitate isn’t the leading form of vitamin C in products meant to address lack of firmness, wrinkles, and discolourations. Research has shown that a modified form of this ingredient, known as trisodium ascorbyl-6 palmitate 2-phosphate overcomes this conversion issue. The palmitate portion of this ingredient lends it hydrating properties many other forms of vitamin C do not have. Interestingly, although ascorbyl palmitate is considered a stable form of vitamin C, research has shown other forms possess greater stability and skin can more freely convert those forms to ascorbic acid. However, a comparative study showed that ascorbyl palmitate maintains adequate stability in different types of emulsions when it is encapsulated. Ascorbyl palmitate is often used in skin care at amounts between 0.1-1% where its antioxidant ability helps stabilise more delicate ingredients, including pure vitamin C; however, it’s not impervious to breaking down with ongoing exposure to heat and oxygen, as data from multiple ingredient suppliers attests. It’s considered safe in the amounts commonly used in skin care and makeup products.

Ascorbyl Palmitate references

  • Pharmazie, October 2005, pages 751-755
  • European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, July 2003, pages 59-66
  • The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, July 2017, pages 14-17
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, December 2008, pages 453-458
  • Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, March 1997, pages 795-801
  • Drug Research, January 2017, pages 52-58
  • Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, September 2016, pages 1,339-1,349
  • Nutrients, July 2017, ePublication

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated