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RETINOL (VITAMIN A)

Score:

Data: Fair

  • 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

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serums & essences30 products
facial moisturizer/treatment29 products
around-eye cream11 products
moisturizer with SPF10 products
body oil7 products
anti-aging5 products
mask2 products
bronzer/highlighter2 products
facial cleanser1 products
body wash/cleanser1 products
hair styling aide1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
depilatory1 products
conditioner1 products
moisturizer1 products
toners/astringents1 products
body firming lotion1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

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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

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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

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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
skin application of Vitamin A containing products may lead to excessively high and possibly unsafe levels of systemic Vitamin AYourick 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.

Use restrictions

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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

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Concern Reference
One-year study found higher rates and greater numbers of skin tumors and lesions on RP-treated animals exposed to 4 hours of sunlight daily.NTP 2010. NTP Draft Technical Report on the Photococarcinogenesis Study 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). NIH Publication No. 11-5910
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)

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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.

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
38937 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

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

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

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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NTP 2010. NTP Draft Technical Report on the Photococarcinogenesis Study 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). NIH Publication No. 11-5910
  • 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.
  • 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.

About this Ingredient's Score Range

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