Menu Close Menu

Menu

RETINYL PROPIONATE

Score:

Data: Limited

  • Other Concerns
  • Functions
  • About the Chemical
  • Synonyms
  • Use restrictions (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)

Cancer

Cancer concern is LOW_MODERATE

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is HIGH

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is LOW

Products with this Ingredient

Expand content Collapse content
facial moisturizer/treatment1 products
serums & essences1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
retinyl palmitate is absorbed into skin and converted to retinol Boehnlein J, Sakr A, Lichtin JL, Bronaugh RL 1994. Characterization of esterase and alcohol dehydrogenase activity in skin. Metabolism of retinyl palmitate to retinol (vitamin A) during percutaneous absorption. Pharm Res 11(8): 1155-9.

Biochemical or cellular level changes

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
Photoirradiation of retinyl palmitate by UVA light generates reactive oxygen species resulting in lipid peroxidation.Cherng SH, Xia Q, Blankenship LR, Freeman JP, Wamer WG, Howard PC, et al 2005. Photodecomposition of retinyl palmitate in ethanol by UVA light-formation of photodecomposition products, reactive oxygen species, and lipid peroxides. Chem Res Toxicol 18(2): 129-38

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
FDA recommends that women of child-bearing age limit their intake of retinol to 5000 IU (1.5 mg retinol)/dayFDA 1995. FDA Talk Paper: Vitamin A and Birth Defects. US Food and Drug Administration
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityYourick JJ, Jung CT, Bronaugh RL 2008. In vitro and in vivo percutaneous absorption of retinol from cosmetic formulations: significance of the skin reservoir and prediction of systemic absorption. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 231(1): 117-21
Retinol is associated with birth defects at maternal intakes as low as 25,000 IU/dayHathcock JN, Hattan DG, Jenkens MY, McDonald JT, Sundaresan PR, Wilkening VL 1990. Evaluation of vitamin A toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr 52, 183–202.

Use restrictions

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
The German BfR recommends that the concentration of Vitamin A ingredients should be limited in face and hand products, and not used in lip and body care products.German BfR 2014. Vitamin A: Intake via cosmetic products should be restricted. http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/vitamin-a-intake-via-cosmetic-products-should-be-restricted.pdf
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

Cancer

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
Photocarcinogenesis observed in Vitamin A derivatives in a large scale government-conducted animal studyNational Toxicology Program (NTP) 2012. Photocarcinogenesis Studies of Retinoic Acid and Retinyl Palmitate [CAS Nos. 302-79-4 (All-trans-retinoic acid) and 79-81-2 (All-trans-retinyl palmitate)] in SKH-1 Mice (simulated solar light and topical application study). Report TR-568.
retinyl palmitate nominated by FDA for photocarcinogenicity testing by the National Toxicology PanelNTP 2000. All-Trans-Retinyl Palmitate [CASRN 79-81-2]. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/Chem_Background/ExSumPdf/RetinylPalmitate.pdf
increased frequency of mutations in cell exposed to retinyl palmitate and UVA (synergistic effect)Mei N, Xia Q, Chen L, Moore MM, Fu PP, Chen T 2005. Photomutagenicity of retinyl palmitate by ultraviolet a irradiation in mouse lymphoma cells. Toxicol Sci 88(1): 142-9.
photoirradiation of retinyl palmitate with UVA light generates free radicals that initiate DNA strand cleavageYan J, Xia Q, Cherng SH, Wamer WG, Howard PC, Yu H, et al 2005. Photo-induced DNA damage and photocytotoxicity of retinyl palmitate and its photodecomposition products. Toxicol Ind Health 21(7-8): 167-75

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
topically applied retinyl palmitate induced epidermal hyperplasia in human skinDuell EA, Kang S, Voorhees JJ 1997. Unoccluded retinol penetrates human skin in vivo more effectively than unoccluded retinyl palmitate or retinoic acid. J Invest Dermatol 109(3): 301-5.
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

Expand content Collapse content
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
10 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
Uncertain environmental toxin and uncertain persistent or bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Informational

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Expand content Collapse content
Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data Sources

  • Boehnlein J, Sakr A, Lichtin JL, Bronaugh RL 1994. Characterization of esterase and alcohol dehydrogenase activity in skin. Metabolism of retinyl palmitate to retinol (vitamin A) during percutaneous absorption. Pharm Res 11(8): 1155-9.
  • Cherng SH, Xia Q, Blankenship LR, Freeman JP, Wamer WG, Howard PC, et al 2005. Photodecomposition of retinyl palmitate in ethanol by UVA light-formation of photodecomposition products, reactive oxygen species, and lipid peroxides. Chem Res Toxicol 18(2): 129-38
  • FDA 1995. FDA Talk Paper: Vitamin A and Birth Defects. US Food and Drug Administration
  • Yourick JJ, Jung CT, Bronaugh RL 2008. In vitro and in vivo percutaneous absorption of retinol from cosmetic formulations: significance of the skin reservoir and prediction of systemic absorption. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 231(1): 117-21
  • Hathcock JN, Hattan DG, Jenkens MY, McDonald JT, Sundaresan PR, Wilkening VL 1990. Evaluation of vitamin A toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr 52, 183–202.
  • German BfR 2014. Vitamin A: Intake via cosmetic products should be restricted. http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/vitamin-a-intake-via-cosmetic-products-should-be-restricted.pdf
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) 2012. Photocarcinogenesis Studies of Retinoic Acid and Retinyl Palmitate [CAS Nos. 302-79-4 (All-trans-retinoic acid) and 79-81-2 (All-trans-retinyl palmitate)] in SKH-1 Mice (simulated solar light and topical application study). Report TR-568.
  • NTP 2000. All-Trans-Retinyl Palmitate [CASRN 79-81-2]. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/Chem_Background/ExSumPdf/RetinylPalmitate.pdf
  • Mei N, Xia Q, Chen L, Moore MM, Fu PP, Chen T 2005. Photomutagenicity of retinyl palmitate by ultraviolet a irradiation in mouse lymphoma cells. Toxicol Sci 88(1): 142-9.
  • Yan J, Xia Q, Cherng SH, Wamer WG, Howard PC, Yu H, et al 2005. Photo-induced DNA damage and photocytotoxicity of retinyl palmitate and its photodecomposition products. Toxicol Ind Health 21(7-8): 167-75
  • Duell EA, Kang S, Voorhees JJ 1997. Unoccluded retinol penetrates human skin in vivo more effectively than unoccluded retinyl palmitate or retinoic acid. J Invest Dermatol 109(3): 301-5.
  • 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.

About this Ingredient's Score Range

ABOUT THE SKIN DEEP® RATINGS

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer

ABOUT EWG VERIFIED™

Beyond providing Skin Deep® as an educational tool for consumers, EWG offers its EWG VERIFIED™ mark as a quick and easily identifiable way of conveying personal care products that meet EWG's strict health criteria. Before a company can use EWG VERIFIED™ on such products, the company must show that it fully discloses the products' ingredients on their labels or packaging, they do not contain EWG ingredients of concern, and are made with good manufacturing practices, among other criteria. Note that EWG receives licensing fees from all EWG VERIFIED™ member companies that help to support the important work we do. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer