Retinyl palmitate is a stable and abundant type of vitamin A that is stored in the liver. A synthetic form of it is used in skin care products as an antiaging ingredient. All retin-A products are biochemical exfoliators that remove the outermost layer of skin cells and encourage new ones to form. This in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinyl palmitate is the least irritating form of topical vitamin A but unfortunately, it does not penetrate the skin very well. Unfortunately it won’t have the same benefits as other forms (retinyl acetate, retinol, tretinoin or retinaldehyde). It usually appears way down the ingredients list which means that it may rarely be concentrated enough to make a difference. To make matters worse, in recent months, retinyl palmitate has come under scrutiny because of potentially hazardous side effects (it breaks down when exposed to sunlight). The Cosmetics Database warns of potential side effects including cancer and reproductive toxicity, among other things.

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Products that contain retinyl palmitate (vitamin a)