Ethylhexyl Palmitate



Ethylhexyl Palmitate at a glance

  • Helps soften and smooth skin
  • Reduces moisture loss from skin’s upper layers
  • Can help active ingredients more readily penetrate skin
  • Is used as an alternative to silicone in some skin care products

Ethylhexyl Palmitate description

Ethylhexyl palmitate is a mixture of a fatty alcohol and palmitic acid that functions in cosmetics products as an emollient (meaning it can soften and smooth skin), texture enhancer, and solvent in amounts from 2-50%, depending on the type of formula and desired aesthetics. It improves the look of skin, particularly dry skin, by helping reduce moisture loss from its upper layers. As a solvent, it helps solubilize other ingredients, helping active ingredients more readily penetrate skin. It helps sunscreen active ingredients such as avobenzone and ethylhexyl triazone disperse and remain evenly suspended in a formula. Ethylhexyl palmitate has a feel like some silicones and silicone derivatives, making it an alternative to those ingredients in certain formulations. There’s no research indicating this ingredient, which may be synthetic, plant-, or animal-derived, is a problem for skin. Paula’s Choice Skincare uses either the synthetic or plant-derived form of this ingredient depending on the product.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate references

  • Dermatology Clinics and Research, August 2019, pages 239-271
  • Clinical Medicine and Research, December 2017, pages 75-87
  • International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 34, Issue 2, Supplement, September 2015, pages 5S-69S
  • Molecules, February 2015, pages 2,492-2,509
  • British Journal of Dermatology, October 2010, pages 695-703

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.