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Data: Fair

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)

SYNONYMS

AXEROPHTHOL PALMITATE, HEXADECANOATE RETINOL, RETINOL PALMITATE, RETINOL, HEXADECANOATE, RETINYL PALMITATE, RETINYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN A PALMITATE), and VITAMIN A PALMITATE

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). Data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. FDA, Norwegian and German health agencies have raised a concern that daily skin application of vitamin A creams may contribute to excessive vitamin A intake for pregnant women and other populations.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • MODERATE
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • HIGH
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • HIGH
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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foundation174 products
lipstick160 products
moisturizer138 products
facial moisturizer/treatment91 products
conditioner83 products
concealer74 products
daily use with SPF59 products
serums & essences56 products
exfoliant/scrub52 products
lip gloss50 products
recreational sunscreen47 products
facial cleanser46 products
hair treatment/serum46 products
shampoo37 products
mask34 products
around-eye cream26 products
hand cream22 products
BB cream21 products
makeup primer20 products
body wash/cleanser19 products
lip plumper18 products
CC cream18 products
body firming lotion16 products
facial powder15 products
15 products
bronzer/highlighter13 products
hair styling aide12 products
anti-aging11 products
setting powder/spray11 products
toners/astringents9 products
body oil7 products
nail treatment7 products
blush7 products
hair color and bleaching7 products
baby sunscreen7 products
after sun product6 products
mascara6 products
hair spray6 products
styling gel/lotion5 products
nail polish5 products
lip balm5 products
hair-loss treatment5 products
baby lotion5 products
eye shadow4 products
liquid hand soap4 products
toothpaste4 products
muscle/joint soreness4 products
brow liner4 products
polish remover4 products
baby shampoo4 products
baby soap4 products
skin fading/lightener3 products
diaper cream3 products
sunless tanning3 products
foot moisturizer3 products
bath oil/salts/soak3 products
after shave3 products
shaving cream (men's)3 products
tanning oil3 products
bar soap3 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)2 products
styling mousse/foam2 products
baby oil2 products
detangler2 products
body powder2 products
foot cleansing2 products
makeup remover2 products
lip balm with SPF2 products
beard cleanser2 products
eye liner1 products
lip liner1 products
hand sanitizer1 products
tooth whitening1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
bubble bath1 products
shaving cream1 products
other eye makeup1 products
baby bubble bath1 products
pore strips1 products

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsOpen scientific literature
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

Biochemical or cellular level changes

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.Open scientific literature

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Known human reproductive toxicantOpen scientific literature
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityOpen scientific literature
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at low dosesOpen scientific literature

Enhanced skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Absorbs into the skinOpen scientific literature

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
One or more animal studies show tumor formation at very low dosesOpen scientific literature
Cancer - limited evidenceOpen scientific literature
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation resultsOpen scientific literature
One or more in vitro tests non-mammalian cells show positive mutation resultsOpen scientific literature

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin toxicityOpen scientific literature
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
1692 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Uncertain environmental toxin and uncertain persistent or bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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