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Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

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

Official CosIng Information


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

Adcross Aqua Gel Anti-Pollution Sunscreen spf 50 pa+++ Albion Super Uv Cut Intensive Day Cream Spf50+ Pa++++ Algenist Sublime Defense Atomy White Broad Spectrum Spf 50 PA+++ Azclear Action Moisturiser Spf 30 Azclear Action Moisturiser SPF 30+ BLK/OPL True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15 Bello Photostable Sunscreen Emulgel Benefit Dream Screen Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream Blue Lizard Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Face Spf 30+ 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 Carmex Classic Lip Balm Original Stick Carmex Fresh Cherry SPF 15 CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream With Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Sunscreen CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream With Sunscreen 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 Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup Spf 15 Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 45 Chaptex Lipcare Cream Charcoalogy Detoxifying Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Spf50 Pa+++ ClarityRx Skin Defense Clinique Acne Solutions™ BB Cream SPF 40 Clinique Age Defense Bb Cream Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum Spf 15 Clinique Even Better Makeup Spf 15 Clinique For Men™ Broad Spectrum Spf 21 Moisturizer Clinique Moisture Surge Cc Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus™ Line Smoothing Cream Broad Spectrum Spf 15 Clinique Repairwear™ Uplifting Firming Cream Broad Spectrum Spf 15 Clinique Fit Workout Makeup Broad Spectrum Spf 40 Clé de Peau Beauté Hand Cream Spf 18 Clé de Peau Beauté Uv Protective Cream Spf 50+ Clé de Peau Beauté Uv Protective Cream Tinted Spf 50+ Coppertone Defend & Care Face Sensitive Skin Lotion Spf 50 Coppertone Defend And Care Clear Zinc Spf 50 DRMTLGY Protect And Glow Spf45 Light Tint DRMTLGY Protect And Glow Spf45 Medium Tint Derma Essentia Sunscreen Spf 50 Gel Dermalogica Sheer Tint SPF20