Retinyl Palmitate once absorbed how long does last in the skin?

Retinyl palmitate is a vitamin A derivative. It is a powerful antioxidant that offers many benefits to the skin, such as preventing premature aging and protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It absorbs quickly and stays primarily on the surface of the skin, where it is needed most to provide the best defense. Retinyl palmitate remains in the skin for a period of days and can increase the level of retinol in the skin, which is also advantageous.

As with many topically applied products, it is important to find those with ingredients that absorb easily and go where they are most useful. Retinyl palmitate is promptly absorbed by the skin and primarily stays close to the skin’s surface, where it can provide the best shield from environmental attacks . An article in the journal “Toxicology and Industrial Health” supports this claim with their findings. The authors reported, “RP rapidly diffuses into the stratum corneum and epidermal skin.” The article went on to assert that, “Of the three skin layers, the highest level of RP and retinol per weight unit (ng/mg) at all time points was found in the epidermis. Levels of RP and retinol were lowest in the dermal layer and intermediate in the stratum corneum.”

Retinyl palmitate has been shown to stay in the skin for over two weeks. The same study from the journal “Toxicology and Industrial Health” indicated in their article that, “The levels of RP and retinol in the separated skin layers and in the intact skin decreased with time, but levels of RP remained higher for control values for a period of up to 18 days.” This is significant, as it shows that the retinyl palmitate does not dissipate quickly from the skin. However, exposure to sunlight can reduce the levels of retinyl palmitate by 50%, so it’s still a good idea to apply daily to get the maximum benefit.

Since retinyl palmitate remains in the skin over time, the article in the “Toxicology and Industrial Health” journal  also noted that treatment with 0.5% retinyl palmitate cream resulted in a ten times increase in epidermal levels of retinyl palmitate and ten times increase in epidermal levels of retinol. This revelation is quite important, as it shows that topical application of retinyl palmitate also increases the level of retinol and sister molecules significantly. Since retinol can be irritating when applied to some skins, it is exciting that retinyl palmitate can metabolize into retinol in the skin.

Retinyl palmitate is a wonderful ingredient for the skin. It works as a potent antioxidant and protects the skin from environmental damage. It penetrates the skin rapidly, stays mainly in the epidermis where it can best protect the skin, remains in the skin for a period of days and increases levels of retinol in the skin. In addition, clinical experimental studies have also shown that topically applied retinyl palmitate cream can act as a sunscreen, providing additional protection against UV light induced erythema, or redness.
July 22, 2014 by Cathy Mohr
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