Octinoxate

AKA: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
A chemical sunscreen also known as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. It protects against UVB, which causes the skin to burn and tan and can lead to certain types of skin cancers. For broad-spectrum protection claims, octinoxate should be paired with a UVA sunscreen.
Also-Known-As:
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
All functions
Origin
Octinoxate

Overview

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is an ingredient that is better known as octinoxate.

This ingredient is a chemical sunscreen, as opposed to a physical sunscreen, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. It is one of the most widely used sunscreens in the world, most likely due to its effectiveness in protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is supplied as a pale yellow oil, and this format makes it useful as a solvent. It is capable of dissolving solid UV absorbing ingredients, such as avobenzone, and this allows these solid ingredients to be incorporated into the product in a way that makes them most effective.

Also, this ingredient absorbs UV light in the UVB region of the light spectrum, which falls between 280 and 315 nanometer wavelengths of light. The light in this section of the UV radiation spectrum causes the skin to burn and tan, and this can lead to certain types of skin cancers.

Therefore, applying protection, including products containing ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, is critical to keeping the skin safe and healthy. In addition, this ingredient does offer a slight amount of UVA protection that includes 315 to 400 nanometer wavelengths of light. This range of light travels deeper into the skin, causing DNA damage, as well as early signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

However, for broad spectrum protection claims, sunscreen products will need sunscreen actives that more effectively target the UVA range of light in addition to the ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

Avobenzone and the mineral sunscreen zinc oxide are good options to pair with ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate to create a sunscreen product with broad spectrum protection, which means protecting against both UVA and UVB radiation.