Palmitic Acid is is one of the most common saturated fatty acids and it is one of the most prevalent saturated fatty acids in body lipids. In aging skin levels of palmitic acid can decrease by as much as 56%
It is found in both animals and plants, primarily from the oil of palm trees. It is most often seen as an ingredient in detergents, soaps and cleaning products, and as a surfactant, although it is used in beauty products and cosmetics for a variety of properties, including as a fragrance ingredient; opacifying agent; surfactant; cleansing agent; emulsifying agent; and emollient (CosmeticsInfo.org and Wikipedia). Palmitic Acid is approved for use up to 13% and is not considered a primary or cumulative irritant, nor sensitizer, although it does create foam and can be drying.
A Korean study published in a 2010 edition of the “Journal of Medicinal Food,” palmitic acid does display antioxidant properties and can help prevent atherosclerosis in rats, but it is not as effective as oleic acid (source).
Palmitic Acid is approved for use up to 13% and is not considered a primary or cumulative irritant, nor sensitizer, although it does create foam and can be drying.
Palmitic acid is used to produce soaps, cosmetics, and release agents. These applications use sodium palmitate, which is commonly obtained by saponification of palm oil. To this end, palm oil, rendered from palm tree (species Elaeis guineensis), is treated with sodium hydroxide (in the form of caustic soda or lye), which causes hydrolysis of the ester groups. This procedure affords glycerol and sodium palmitate.
Because it is inexpensive and adds texture to processed foods (convenience food), palmitic acid and its sodium salt find wide use in foodstuffs. Sodium palmitate is permitted as a natural additive in organic products. The aluminium salt is used as a thickening agent of napalm used in military actions.
Hydrogenation of palmitic acid yields cetyl alcohol, which is used to produce detergents and cosmetics.
Recently, a long-acting antipsychotic medication, paliperidone palmitate (marketed as INVEGA Sustenna), used in the treatment of schizophrenia, has been synthesized using the oily palmitate ester as a long-acting release carrier medium when injected intramuscularly. The underlying method of drug delivery is similar to that used with decanoic acid to deliver long-acting depot medication, in particular, neuroleptics such as haloperidol decanoate.