Follow-up Post:Retinyl Palmitate

I mentioned in yesterday’s post wanting to do further reasearch on the ingredient Retinyl Palmitate (or Vitamin A Palmitate). Today, I did that research. I picked a few of the more convincing articles to share with you guys.

Here’s some of what the Environmental Working Group has to say about Retinyl Palmitate:

“Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). When exposed to UV light, retinol compounds break down and produce toxic free radicals that can damage DNA and cause gene mutations, a precursor to cancer. Recently available 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 also raised a concern that extensive, daily skin application of vitamin A creams may build up in the woman’s body a high enough level of Vitamin A that may be toxic to the developing fetus.”

Read more of what the EWG has to say. Also, here’s a link to a list of all the relevant articles on the EWG website.

This website, however, seems a bit skeptical of the dangers of Retinyl Palmitate. It links to several studies concerning Retinyl Palmitate which are, for the most part, way over my head. Most of the studies seem to either be suggesting that adverse effects of Retinyl Palmitate are unlikely because of the unique, specific, and extreme conditions in which the studies were done or that there is not enough evidence to make the assertion that it’s dangerous.

As usual, I’m just as torn as I was in the beginning.  My research wasn’t entirely fruitless, though. I may not purchase sunscreen with this ingredient in the future, but I’m no longer afraid to use my facial cleanser that contains Retinyl Palmitate. Any residue from my face wash should be taken care of (ie: removed) by my toner before I go outside. Still, I’ll definitely try to avoid the ingredient in any and all products that are exposed to sunlight.
by Dawn Grimes