Ascorbyl Palmitate

What Is It?

Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate and Ascorbyl Stearate are made from vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate are substances with structures similar to vitamin C and the sodium salt of vitamin C. Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate and Ascorbyl Stearate are used primarily in makeup products. Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate are used primarily in hair and nail products.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate, Ascorbyl Stearate, Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate all function as antioxidants.

Scientific Facts:

Ascorbyl Palmitate and Ascorbyl Dipalmitate are produced from ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, and palmitic Acid, a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Ascorbyl Palmitate has vitamin C activity approximately equal to that of Ascorbic Acid (L-form). Ascorbyl Stearate is produced from ascorbic acid, and stearic acid, another fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Erythorbic Acid is an isomer of ascorbic acid. In foods, Ascorbyl Palmitate is used as a source of vitamin C for meat curing and to preserve canned and frozen foods. It also prevents the browning of cut apples.

Safety Information:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Ascorbyl Palmitate and Erythorbic Acid among the substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a chemical preservative. Ascorbyl Palmitate is also specifically allowed to be used as a preservative in margarine. The safety of Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate, Ascorbyl Stearate, Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Ascorbyl Palmitate and the related ingredients were safe for use as cosmetic ingredients.

More safety Information:

CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that antioxidants, particularly those derived from vitamin C, are used in cosmetics and personal care products with increasing frequency. The CIR Expert Panel acknowledged the potential beneficial effects of these antioxidants but focused more on the assessment of safety. The CIR Expert Panel noted that ester forms of these ingredients, which includes Ascorbyl Palmitate, and Ascorbyl Stearate penetrate the skin readily and are used at lower concentrations in leave-on formulations. The available toxicity data supported the safety of Ascorbyl Palmitate and related ingredients as used in cosmetics and personal care products.

FDA: Code of Federal Regulations for Ascorbyl Palmitate

FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Erythorbic Acid

When made from plants, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate, Ascorbyl Stearate, Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union. Ingredients of animal origin must comply with the European Union animal by-products regulations.

EU Cosmetic Regulation

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has established an Acceptable Daily Intake of 0-1.25 mg/kg body weight for Ascorbyl Palmitate or Ascorbyl Stearate, or the sum of both. 

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has not established an Acceptable Daily Intake for Erythorbic Acid and Sodium Erythorbate as the intake of these substances from food at a level need to achieve the desired effect does not represent a hazard to health.

More Scientific Information:

Ascorbyl Palmitate is the ester of ascorbic acid and palmitic acid, while Ascorbyl Stearate is the ester of ascorbic acid and stearic acid. Ascorbyl Dipalmitate is the diester of ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. Erythorbic Acid, also called, isoascorbic acid, is an isomer of Acorbic Acid. Sodium Erythorbate is the sodium salt of Erythorbic Acid. All of these ingredients function as antioxidants in cosmetics and personal care products.

Resources:

Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration