Cosmetic Ingredients Series
Isopropyl palmitate is derived from hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid) which is a derivitive of processing palm oil. It is used in cosmetics as a surfactant (Surface active-agent), in foods and to make weapons. Surfactants lower the surface tension between surfaces (e.g. liquids). Isopropyl palmitate is used as a physical stabilizer in antiperspirant sticks and roll-ons. It also functions as an emollient, emulsifier, film former, spreader, and solvent in creams, lotions, and eye makeup. It is also used in lipsticks, alcohol hair lotions and aftershaves.
Some meats, cheeses, butters and other dairy products contain palmitic acid. Evidence suggests that the compound makes up to 50% of animal fats. It is used as a foofd additive because it adds a thicker texture to processed food which woud otherwise be too sloppy. The aluminium salts formed by palmitic acid are used to make napalm. Isopropyl palmitate has been observed to be a carcinogenic metabolite and the WHO is concerned that its precurser, palmitic acid, may contribute to cardiovascular disease.
The LD50 is the Lethal Dose in 50% of the population. It is used as the basis for calculating how safe a chemical is for subsequent use in products such as food, cosmetics, colourants and medicines. It is normally calibrated using animal testing.