Cetyl Palmitate


Texture enhancer

No known benefits

Cetyl Palmitate at a glance

  • Ester of cetyl alcohol and palmitic acid
  • Helps smooth and condition dry skin
  • May be animal- or plant-derived, or made synthetically
  • White, waxy solid in its raw form

Cetyl Palmitate description

The ester of cetyl alcohol and palmitic acid, this thickener and emollient helps smooth and condition dry skin. The ingredients that comprise cetyl palmitate are naturally occurring fatty acids. Cetyl palmitate may be derived from animals (it is a component of corals) but can also - and is usually - derived from plants or manufactured synthetically (this is the type Paula’s Choice uses). In its raw form, it is a waxy white solid. The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has found that cetyl palmitate safe as used in cosmetics, where its usage is usually in concentrations of 2.7% or less.

Cetyl Palmitate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, September 2015, pages 5S–69S
  • Nanotechnology, March 2008, ePublication
  • European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, August 2007, pages 141–148

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.