Palmitic Acid (Psoriasis)

Palmitic Acid is is one of the most common saturated fatty acids within almost every living organism. For commercial use, palmitic acid is often derived from plants, in particular from the fruit of oil palms, hence its name. It is widely used as an ingredient in detergents, soaps and cleansing products, and as a surfactant, although it is used in beauty products and cosmetics for a variety of purposes, including as a fragrance ingredient, and emollient. Studies have shown that levels of palmitic acid can decrease by as much as 56% in aging skin, compared to younger healthy skin, thereby leading to decreased elasticity.

What does the science say?

Level of evidence: C

HelloSkin’s experts were unable to find any scientific data or clinical trials regarding the use of palmitic acid in people with dry skin (xerosis). Nevertheless, marula nut oil contains 15,3% palmitic acid, which has been shown to exhibit moisturising, hydrating and occlusive properties1, known to affect patients suffering from psoriasis.

Furthermore, palmitic acid is able to disturb lipids between the outer skin layers, thereby filling up these spaces within the cell layers, making the skin more elastic and soothe dry skin related symptoms like itching.

The concentration of an ingredient is important for its efficacy, and therefore products containing the same ingredient may not necessarily have the same effect as in the studies mentioned above. Updated: July. 2017

Updated: July 2017


1J Ethnopharmacol. 2015