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Sodium Palmate vs. Sodium Palmitate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 22, 2023
Sodium Palmate is a salt derived from palm oil fatty acids; Sodium Palmitate is a salt formed from palmitic acid.

Key Differences

Sodium palmate is a sodium salt derived from the fatty acids in palm oil, commonly used in soap making for its cleansing properties. Sodium palmitate, on the other hand, is specifically the sodium salt of palmitic acid, one of the many fatty acids found in palm oil.
In soap manufacturing, sodium palmate is valued for its ability to create a hard, long-lasting bar with good lathering properties. Sodium palmitate, while also used in soaps, contributes to the hardness and longevity of the soap bar but is just one component of the broader range of fatty acids in sodium palmate.
Sodium palmate is created through the saponification process of palm oil, involving a reaction with sodium hydroxide. Sodium palmitate is produced through the saponification of palmitic acid, which can be derived from various sources, not just palm oil.
In the cosmetics industry, sodium palmate is often used for its moisturizing properties in skincare products. Sodium palmitate is also utilized in cosmetics, primarily for its emulsifying and surfactant properties.
Sodium palmate is a key ingredient in many commercial soaps and detergents, recognized for its gentle cleansing action. Sodium palmitate, while a component of sodium palmate, is also used independently in a variety of personal care products for its stability and skin-conditioning properties.

Comparison Chart


Derived from palm oil fatty acids
Specific salt of palmitic acid

Soap Properties

Contributes to hardness, lather, and longevity
Contributes primarily to hardness and longevity


From saponification of palm oil
From saponification of palmitic acid

Use in Cosmetics

Moisturizing properties in skincare
Emulsifying and surfactant properties

Role in Products

Used in soaps and detergents for gentle cleansing
Used for stability and skin conditioning in personal care products

Sodium Palmate and Sodium Palmitate Definitions

Sodium Palmate

A compound that contributes to the lathering effect in soaps.
Sodium palmate is responsible for the soap’s luxurious foam.

Sodium Palmitate

The sodium salt of palmitic acid used in soap manufacturing.
Sodium palmitate is added to soaps to improve their texture and longevity.

Sodium Palmate

An ingredient in cleansers for its gentle, moisturizing properties.
Sodium palmate in the facial cleanser helps to keep skin hydrated.

Sodium Palmitate

A key ingredient in many skincare products for its beneficial skin properties.
Sodium palmitate is chosen for its gentle action on the skin in this skincare line.

Sodium Palmate

Used to enhance the hardness and durability of bar soaps.
The long-lasting quality of this soap is due to sodium palmate.

Sodium Palmitate

Utilized in cosmetics for its emulsifying and skin-conditioning properties.
The lotion's smooth consistency is partly due to sodium palmitate.

Sodium Palmate

A common ingredient in commercial detergents and soaps.
Many household detergents contain sodium palmate for effective cleaning.

Sodium Palmitate

Found in various beauty products for its effective surfactant qualities.
The facial cleanser’s effectiveness is enhanced by the inclusion of sodium palmitate.

Sodium Palmate

A sodium salt derived from palm oil used in soap making.
The soap's rich lather is thanks to the sodium palmate in its ingredients.

Sodium Palmitate

A component in personal care products for stability and moisturizing effects.
Sodium palmitate in the cream helps to maintain its stability over time.


Does sodium palmate have environmental concerns?

Yes, environmental concerns arise due to deforestation for palm oil production.

Is sodium palmitate safe for all skin types?

Generally, yes, but individuals with sensitive skin should test products containing sodium palmitate.

Is sodium palmate biodegradable?

Yes, sodium palmate is biodegradable, making it environmentally friendly.

Is sodium palmitate natural?

Sodium palmitate is a naturally occurring component of many fats and oils.

Can sodium palmate be used in liquid soaps?

Yes, sodium palmate is used in both bar and liquid soaps.

What is the primary use of sodium palmate?

Sodium palmate is primarily used in soap making and as a cleansing agent in cosmetics.

Is sodium palmitate vegan?

Sodium palmitate can be vegan if derived from plant sources, but its source should be verified.

Is sodium palmitate commonly used in skincare?

Yes, it's commonly used in skincare for its stabilizing and conditioning properties.

Does sodium palmitate have moisturizing properties?

Sodium palmitate can have moisturizing properties, depending on the formulation of the product.

Does sodium palmitate have a specific odor or color?

Sodium palmitate is typically odorless and can vary in color depending on purity.

Can sodium palmitate cause skin irritation?

It's rare, but some individuals may experience irritation from products containing sodium palmitate.

What gives sodium palmate its cleansing ability?

Sodium palmate's cleansing ability comes from its properties as a surfactant, breaking down oils and dirt.

What is the source of sodium palmate?

Sodium palmate is derived from the fatty acids in palm oil.

Is sodium palmate environmentally sustainable?

Sustainability concerns arise with palm oil sourcing; looking for sustainable certifications is advised.

Can sodium palmitate be used in hair care products?

Yes, it's used in some hair care products for its conditioning effects.

Are there alternatives to sodium palmate in soaps?

Yes, other plant-based oils like coconut oil can be alternatives to sodium palmate in soaps.

Is sodium palmitate good for acne-prone skin?

Sodium palmitate is generally safe, but individuals with acne-prone skin should consult with a dermatologist.

How is sodium palmate made?

Sodium palmate is made through the saponification of palm oil with sodium hydroxide.

Can sodium palmate cause allergies?

Allergic reactions are possible but rare; individuals with palm oil allergies should be cautious.

Does sodium palmitate have any environmental impact?

The environmental impact of sodium palmitate depends on the source of the palmitic acid and production practices.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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