Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol

Sometimes in the science of skin care, the terms “Retinol” and “Retinyl palmitate” are used interchangeably. This is wrong however, because there two compounds are different from each other, although both are variations of Vitamin A, and both have an almost similar role to play in skin care.


It is one of the purest forms of Vitamin A, and it is extracted from various sources of vitamin A such as chicken, egg yolks and even fish-liver oil. It is often used in many skin care products for its potentially anti-aging qualities.

This is because once Retinol is in the skin, it is converted into Retinoic Acid which stimulates the production of new cells by stimulating the production of collagen.

This quality also makes Retinol popular in topical creams that help to fade scars from skin conditions such as eczema and acne.

Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate is formed when Retinol is chemically combined with palmitic acid, which is a component that is present in palm oil. Once it has been absorbed into the skin, it is first broken down into Retinol, and then to retinoic acid which also stimulates the rejuvenation of the skin cells.

Aside from its chemical composition, what makes Retinyl Palmitate different from Retinol is the fact that it is less irritating on the skin, a factor which makes it favorable for sensitive skin.

This could be because it takes a longer process for it to be broken down into retinoic acid, and the palm oil component is likewise very soothing.