Octocrylene is a chemical compound that is used as a sunscreen and a UV filter. It is an oily clear liquid immiscible with water. It is chemically produced and contains no animal-based ingredients. So, octocrylene is vegan.
Octocrylene protects against sun damage. But since it is a chemical sunscreen, it raises questions about skin safety. Let’s find out what octocrylene is, what it does, and whether it is harmful.
What Is Octocrylene? What Is Octocrylene Made Of?
Octocrylene is a synthetically produced organic compound. The composition has no animal-based ingredients and therefore, is vegan. It is only manufactured chemically.
Octocrylene is a product of condensation and comes from 2-Ethylhexyl cyanoacetate and benzophenone. It is not water-soluble but is miscible with oils.
It goes into the skin and works as a photosensitizer. Octocrylene works mostly as a UVB protector. But it also absorbs some UVA rays.
Why Is Octocrylene Used In Skincare?
Octocrylene is used in skin care because it acts as a UV filter. So it is used in sunscreens as it mostly absorbs UV-B rays. The organic compound also has emollient-like properties. By protecting the skin from sun damage, they help to prevent premature aging and possibly skin cancer.
UV filters minimize the unwanted effects of UV radiation on the skin. Therefore, they are important components of sunscreens. As octocrylene protects the skin from sun damage, it might help prevent changes in the DNA that are related to skin cancer. To this day, however, it is not fully proven.
Sunscreens and octocrylene also act as anti-aging products. Sun is usually the main cause of the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
In addition, as octocrylene has ethyl hexanol in its composition, it has slight emollient-like properties. Ethylhexanol is a fatty acid that soothes the skin.
Octocrylene absorbs mainly UVB rays. This means it does not work entirely with the UVA range. As octocrylene’s filter effect is not very strong, it is always used in combination with other UV filters. It absorbs UV rays with wavelengths from 280 to 320 nm.
Is Octocrylene Harmful?
Octocrylene has beneficial properties but it is also suspected to be harmful. And not only for human health but also for sea creatures. The question of whether it is unsafe is difficult to answer, as the compound is not studied enough.
Octocrylene penetrates very well into the skin. And it leaves a trace already after first use. Researchers have found that it can be found in the bloodstream even weeks after the last use. Some smaller papers suggest, that octocrylene might have effects on hormonal balance. However, this has not been sufficiently studied.
Still, as it does not have such a strong sun protection effect, it is often combined with other ingredients that might be carcinogenic. Therefore, we recommend always checking the ingredient list.
Although octocrylene is not entirely classified as unsafe, there are alternatives considered unharmful. Professionals recommend physical sunscreens like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Plus, mineral sunscreens are equally effective when it comes to UV protection.
FAQ About Octocrylene
Octocrylene is a chemical compound that is used as a sunscreen and a UV filter. It is an oily clear liquid immiscible with water.
Octocrylene is chemically produced and contains no animal-based ingredients. Octocrylene is vegan.
Octinoxate is a vegan skincare ingredient that protects the skin from sun damage. Although it is not entirely clear if it is harmful to health, it is known to be harmful to sea life.
Years ago chemical UV filters such as octocrylene used to be found only in sun creams. In a more conscious world, sun protection has become the most important part of skincare. So, most face creams contain chemical UV filters.
Therefore, skincare experts recommend choosing mineral aka physical sunscreens instead of chemical ones. These protect human health as well as marine life. Luckily vegan skincare brands have a wide variety of reef-safe sunscreens. We also have researched the best vegan sunscreens of 2022, to make your life easier.