What is octinoxate?

Octinoxate is used in some lipsticks and other cosmetics to protect from the sun.

Octinoxate is a chemical compound found in many different types of cosmetics and personal care products. Manufacturers get this ingredient from petroleum by-products and then add it to makeup, lotions, and moisturizers. While octinoxate offers several benefits in terms of sun protection, it also has some potential health risks that are not well understood by the public. Despite its potential risks, this compound remains a widely used ingredient to add sun protection to common skin care and hygiene products.

Octinoxate is found in most sunscreen products.

To make octinoxate, scientists mix sulfuric acid with methanol, a by-product of petroleum. When heat is applied to this mixture, the ingredients undergo a permanent chemical reaction, resulting in a compound that is insoluble in water. This compound, known by the scientific name of ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, is more commonly referred to as octinoxate.

Octinoxate is made from methanol and sulfuric acid.

This ingredient can be found in most sunscreens on the market, including lotions, creams, sticks and sprays. It is also added to cosmetics, such as foundation or lipstick, where it helps protect the wearer from sun damage. This component is also used in many standard moisturizers, body care products and cosmetics, where it often serves as the primary active ingredients in these products. It is also sometimes mixed with a similar compound known as oxybenzone to increase its effectiveness.

Sunscreen products containing octinoxate can reduce freckles.

When used in personal care products and cosmetics, octinoxate primarily acts as a sunscreen. It blocks both UVA and UVB rays, while offering much greater protection against the latter. By protecting the skin from sun damage, this ingredient helps prevent DNA changes that can contribute to skin cancer. It also reduces wrinkles and keeps the skin looking younger and healthier. For some individuals, products that contain sunscreen agents like octinoxate can also reduce dark spots, freckles, and other signs of sun damage and aging.

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Despite its many advantages, octinoxate also has some risks. Some users may develop an allergy to this ingredient, which may prevent them from coming into contact with this compound. This ingredient is also a hormone or endocrine disruptor, meaning it can negatively impact the health of the fetus. Like other petroleum-based sunscreens, this compound can build up in the body over time, leading to potential health problems down the road. Finally, as octinoxate is carried into the ocean or other bodies of water, it can pose a threat to wildlife in terms of pollution and endocrine disruption.

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