What is it?

“Avobenzone (trade names Parsol 1789, Milestab 1789, Eusolex 9020, Escalol 517, Neo Heliopan 357 and others, INCI Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane) is an oil-soluble ingredient used in sunscreen products to absorb the full spectrum of UVA rays.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies that “this substance may cause long-lasting harmful effects to aquatic life.”

There are many who recommend that small children and pregnant women should avoid products containing avobenzone, although it is difficult to find research to back up this. For this reason, it is not marked as a “developmental toxicant” by our ingredient scanner. However, for people preferring to be on the cautious side, it might feel better to choose a physical/mineral sunscreen without the chemical sunscreen avobenzone.

How is it used?

This chemical is common to find in cosmetics, personal care products, perfumes, and fragrances. Avobenzone is often used in broad-range sunscreen products as it can absorb both UVA and UVB wavelengths.

Avobenzone can be used both to protect the actual product and the cosmetic ingredients as well as the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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