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Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Also-called-like-this: Octinoxate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate
What-it-does: sunscreen
Irritancy: 0
Comedogenicity: 0


A clear, oil-soluble, "cosmetically-elegant" liquid that is the most commonly used chemical sunscreen. It absorbs UVB radiation (at wavelengths: 280-320 nm) with a peak protection at 310nm. 

It only protects against UVB and not UVA rays (the 320-400 nm range) – so always choose products that contain other sunscreens too. It is not very stable either, when exposed to sunlight, it kind of breaks down and loses its effectiveness (not instantly, but over time - it loses 10% of its SPF protection ability within 35 mins). To make it more stable it can be - and should be - combined with other sunscreen agents to give stable and broad-spectrum protection (the new generation sunscreen agent, Tinosorb S is a particularly good one for that).

Regarding safety, there are also some concerns around Octinoxate. In vitro (made in the lab not on real people) and animal studies have shown that it may produce hormonal (estrogen-like) effects. Do not panic, the studies were not conducted under real life conditions on real human people, so it is probably over-cautious to avoid Octinoxate altogether. However, if you are pregnant or a small child (under 2 yrs. old), choose a physical (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide) or new-generation Tinosorb based sunscreen, just to be on the super-safe side. :) 

Overall, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is an old-school chemical sunscreen agent. There are plenty of better options for sun protection today, but it is considered "safe as used" (and sunscreens are pretty well regulated) and it is available worldwide (can be used up to 10% in the EU and up to 7.5% in the US).

Show me some proof

  • Couteau, C., et al. "Study of the efficacy of 18 sun filters authorized in European Union tested in vitro." Die Pharmazie-An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 62.6 (2007): 449-452.
  • Couteau, Céline, et al. "Study of the photostability of 18 sunscreens in creams by measuring the SPF in vitro." Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis 44.1 (2007): 270-273.
  • Chatelain, Eric, and Bernard Gabard. "Photostabilization of Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone) and Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate by Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (Tinosorb S), a New UV Broadband Filter." Photochemistry and Photobiology 74.3 (2001): 401-406.
  • Janjua, Nadeem Rezaq, et al. "Systemic absorption of the sunscreens benzophenone-3, octyl-methoxycinnamate, and 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor after whole-body topical application and reproductive hormone levels in humans." Journal of Investigative Dermatology 123.1 (2004): 57-61.
  • Schlumpf, Margret, et al. "In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens." Environmental health perspectives 109.3 (2001): 239.

Products with a known amount of Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Other products with Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

ACNE-UV Ipca Acne Uv Spf 50 Sunscreen Gel Pa+++ Accufix Cosmetics The Ultimate Sunscreen Adcross Aqua Gel Anti-Pollution Sunscreen spf 50 pa+++ Albion Super Uv Cut Intensive Day Cream Spf50+ Pa++++ Algenist Repairing Tint And Radiance Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Algenist Sublime Defense Amarte Ultra Veil Ultra Light Facial Sunscreen Amore Pacific Age Correcting Foundation Cushion Broad Spectrum Spf 25 Medium To Full Coverage AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum Spf 50+ Andalou Naturals Andalou Diy Booster SPF 30 Facial Serum Unscented Artistry Ideal Radiance UV Protection Artistry Studio Artistry Youth Xtend™ Protecting Lotion (For Combination-To-Oily Skin) Atomy White Broad Spectrum Spf 50 PA+++ Aurelderma UVedge SPF 50 Sunscreen Gel Avon Anew Rejuvenate Day Revitalizing Cream SPF 25 BIOCARE Sunscreen Cream SPF45 BIOPHORA Advanced Protection SPF 45 BLK/OPL True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15 Bello Photostable Sunscreen Emulgel SPF40 Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream Kojic Acid + Tranexamic Acid SPF 30 Benefit Dream Screen Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream Berkowits Protect Sunscreen Gel, SPF 50, Pa+++ Biore UV Aqua Rich 含水防曬水珠凝露 Blk Daydream Life-proof Airy Serum Blue Lizard Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Face Spf 30+ Bobana Sunscreen Gel Bobbi Brown Bb Cream Broad Spectrum Spf 35 Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40 Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Radiance SPF 35 Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Spf 15 Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation Spf 15 Boots No7 Stay Perfect Compact Foundation CGG Cosmetics Aqua Bomb Sunscreen CVS Health Baby SPF 50 Mineral-Based Sun Lotion CVS Health Children's SPF 50 Mineral-Based Sun Lotion Canixa Cuvia SPF 30 Carmex Classic Lip Balm Original Stick Carmex Fresh Cherry SPF 15 Cell Skin Lipstick SPF 30 Cherry Cellina (雪芙蘭) Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ Pa+++ Sense Of Water 超水感高效防曬凝乳 清透保濕 Cellina (雪芙蘭) Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ Pa++++ Facial Spray 超水感清爽臉部防曬噴霧 CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream With Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Sunscreen CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream With Sunscreen Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Spf50, Fragrance Free Cetaphil Sun Spf50+ Ultra-Light Lotion Body & Face Chanel Cc Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation Broad Spectrum Spf 25