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Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane

Also-called-like-this: Avobenzone
What-it-does: sunscreen

Official CosIng Information


The famous Avobenzone. It is a special snowflake as it is the only globally available chemical sunscreen agent that provides proper UVA protection (in the US, new generation sunscreen agents are not approved because of impossible FDA regulations). It is the global gold standard of UVA protection and is the most used UVA sunscreen in the world. 

It gives very good protection across the whole UVA range (310-400 nm that is both UVA1 and UVA2) with a peak protection at 360 nm. The problem with it, though, is that it is not photostable and degrades in the sunlight. Wikipedia says that avobenzone loses 36% of its UV-absorption capacity after just one hour of sunlight (yep, this is one of the reasons why sunscreens have to be reapplied after a few hours).

The cosmetic's industry is trying to solve the problem by combining avobenzone with other UV filters that enhance its stability (like octocrylene, Tinosorb S or Ensulizole) or by encapsulating it and while both solutions help, neither is perfect. Interestingly, the combination of avobenzone with mineral sunscreens (that is titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) is not a good idea. In the US, it is flat out prohibited as avobenzone becomes unstable when combined with mineral sunscreens.

As for safety, avobenzone has a pretty good safety profile. It counts as non-irritating, and unlike some other chemical sunscreens, it shows no estrogenic effect. The maximum concentration of avobenzone permitted is 5% in the EU and 3% in the US.

Show me some proof

  • Photochem Photobiol. 2001 Sep;74(3):401-6., Photostabilization of butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone) and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate by bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (Tinosorb S), a new UV broadband filter.
  • Schlumpf, Margret, et al. "In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens." Environmental health perspectives 109.3 (2001): 239.

Products with Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane

Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF 50 Ahava Time To Hydrate Essential Moisturizing Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF15 Alba Botanica Hawaiian Spray Sunscreen Alba Botanica Soothing Sunscreen Alba Botanica Very Emollient Kids Sunscreen Anthony Day Cream Spf 30 Atoma Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion Spf 50 Baby Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer Spf 30 Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer For Even Skin Tone, Spf 15 Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer With Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen 50 For Face Banana Boat Dry Balance Lotion Spf50 Banana Boat Unscreen Lip Balm Spf 45, Aloe Vera & Vitamin E Beauty Blender Selfie Shield Broad Spectrum Spf 38 Dry Oil Primer Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion With Sunscreen Spf 30 Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer Spf 15 Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbing Moisturizer Spf 30 Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer Spf 20 Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Cream Spf 22 Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion Spf 22 Clé de Peau Beauté Uv Protective Lip Treatment Spf 30 Coola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen Lotion Spf 30 Coola Classic Face Sport Spf 50 White Tea Coola Dawn Patrol Classic Makeup Primer Spf 30 Coola Makeup Setting Spray Organic Sunscreen Spf 30 Coola Moisturizing Face Spf 30 Organic Sunscreen Lotion Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen Spf 50 Coola Organic Spf 30 Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops Coppertone Glow Lotion Spf 50 Coppertone Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray Spf 50 Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion Spf 50 Cosmedix Peptide-Rich Defense Moisturizer With Broad Spectrum Spf 50 Sunscreen Cover fx Total Cover Cream Foundation Spf30 DCL Essential Skin Protection Spf 30 Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Dermalogica Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer Spf15 Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF30 Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 Dermalogica Pure Light Spf 50 - Powerbright Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster Spf 50 Differin Oil Control Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Dormer 211 Face Cream Spf 30 Dove Dermaseries Dry Skin Relief Spf15 Face Cream Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream Targeted Sun Defense Stick Spf 50 High Protection Pa+++ Estee Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant 72H-Hydration Sorbet Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Estee Lauder Daywear Antioxidant 72H-Hydration Sorbet Creme SPF 15 Estee Lauder Resilience Multi-Effect Tri-Peptide Face And Neck Creme SPF 15 Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme Spf 15 Every Day For Every Body Resting Beach Face Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Serum