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Sodium Palm Kernelate

Approved Ingredients
Sodium Palm Kernelate

Sodium Palm Kernelate

Sodium palm kernelate is the sodium salt of palm kernel acid. It usually appears as a white paste or granules, and is derived from a mixture of fatty acids from palm (Elaeis guineensis) kernel oil. We use this ingredient in some of our bar soaps as a surfactant, to gently cleanse skin.

Sodium palm kernelate can be produced by reacting palm kernel fatty acids with a strong base, typically sodium hydroxide. This process can be undertaken with almost any fats and alkalis, and is known as saponification - the traditional method for creating soap. Sodium palm kernelate can be used in bar soaps and cleansers as a gentler alternative to some harsher surfactants.

Palm kernel oil (PKO) is derived from the kernels or seeds of the fruit, whereas palm oil (PO) is derived from the whole fruit. The two oils are compositionally different, with palm kernel oil having a much higher content of saturated fatty acids, particularly lauric acid.

Our policy on sustainable palm oil can be found on pages 26-31 of our 2018 Sustainability Report.

Other names: Palm Kernel Acids, Sodium Salt

Component compounds: (Palm kernel oil fatty acids) Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid. (Alkali) Sodium Hydroxide

Chemical class: Soap


Mancini, Annamaria & Imperlini, Esther & Nigro, Ersilia & Montagnese, Concetta & Daniele, Aurora & Orrù, Stefania & Buono, Pasqualina. (2015). Biological and Nutritional Properties of Palm Oil and Palmitic Acid: Effects on Health. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 20. 17339-17361. 10.3390/molecules200917339.

INCI Name:
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Ingredient origins:
Oil Palm Fruit
Common name:
Sodium Palm Kernelate
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.