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Isopropyl Palmitate

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Isopropyl Palmitate


Isopropyl Palmitate is derived from processing palmitic acid from coconut oil. This chemical is an additive to many skin and hair care products that used to improve the moisture content in hair and skin. Isopropyl Palmitate is all natural and is used in many other industries aside from personal care and hair care products.
This chemical has many rewarding properties such as moisturizing, emollient, thickening agent and also reduces static which can benefit unruly, dry and damaged hair.

History and Origin

Isopropyl Palmitate is classified as an ester of palmitic acid and isopropyl alcohol. It also includes complex combinations of other isomers to yield Isopropyl palmitate, which is an indispensable ingredient in high quality shampoos, conditioners, styling aids and leave on products for hair. Isopropyl Palmitate is isotonic which means it has the same salinity as body fluids making it safe even when ingested in small amounts.

Ancient Uses

The use of Isopropyl Palmitate during ancient times was unheard of. Coconut oil, the natural source of palmitic acid is considered to be a very natural hair care and skin care product. This oil is also used to treat certain conditions of the hair and scalp such as lice, dandruff and reducing the effects of baldness especially in men. Women during ancient times used coconut oil and many other natural ingredients like nut butters, fruit extracts and spices to clean hair and skin.

Modern Uses

In today’s more modern times, Isopropyl Palmitate is used primarily as an effective way to condition and improve the luster and quality of hair. Hair care products utilize this very important ingredient to help make hair silkier and manageable. Products with Isopropyl Palmitate reduce the occurrence of overall hair damage, whilst also improving the health of the hair as well.

In skin care, products with Isopropyl Palmitate greatly improve the moisture content of skin making it smooth to touch and less prone to eczema and dermatitis. Improving moisture content on skin also affects the skin’s health; skin glows and appears to look smoother, fine lines are reduced and pores appear tight when used regularly.
Isopropyl Palmitate is also known to thicken cosmetics such as mascaras, foundations, toners and concealers. It also found to be a main ingredient in many other personal care products such as lotions, facial creams and styling aids.

Side Effects

There are several side effects when using personal care products that contain Isopropyl palmitate. It has been known to cause acne, black heads and white heads when used excessively. Hair may appear unruly and untidy when used excessively because of increased oil or moisture content in hair.

Other than these side effects, there have been no known major side effects in the use of products with Isopropyl palmitate. An important precaution though, when using hair care products with Isopropyl palmitate, is to never use these is you have any type of open wound on your scalp, any type of skin irritation, or any type of skin infection that adversely affects your scalp.

If you have sensitive skin and would like to use products that contain Isopropyl Palmitate, in order to alleviate yourself of such dry skin and hair, you should first consult with a dermatologist for any possible adverse reactions on your particular type of skin. Babies and young children must look for a milder skin and hair care alternative for their extra sensitive skin.

Read also: Magnesium

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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