Palmitoyl hydroxypropyltrimonium amylopectin/glycerin crosspolymer is a palmitic acid ester of a polymer consisting of the hydroxypropyltrimonium derivative of amylopectin crosslinked with glycerin. In cosmetics and personal care products, this ingredient functions as a humectant moisturizer and emollient. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface. Humectants improve moisture retention, which is why this ingredient is often used in creams, lotions, and other types of moisturizers.
Palmitoyl hydroxypropyltrimonium amylopectin/glycerin crosspolymer also functions as an emollient. It lubricates the surface of skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. While all skin types can benefit from emollients, they are especially helpful for those who have dry, rough, and/or flaky skin. Emollients can alleviate these symptoms, leaving the skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. In addition, emollients can benefit those that suffer from conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or other inflammatory skin conditions.