Retinyl palmitate is the the ester of retinol (vitamin A) combined with palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid and a major component of palm oil. It belongs to the family of chemical compounds known as retinoids and is one of the most important vitamins for the appearance of the skin because of its small molecular structures. These tiny molecules have the ability to penetrate the outer layers of the skin and work to repair the lower layers where collagen and elastin reside.
It works to create the cell regeneration and exfoliation action within the skin. Retinyl palmitate converts into retinol (or vitamin A), which in turn is converted into retinoic acid by specialized enzymes in the skin.
It is thought to encourage aging cells to continue their renewal process, and regenerate collagen and elastin to prevent the appearance of aging skin, wrinkles, and fine lines. It is also effective at producing new, healthy skin cells to replace skin previously damaged by acne.