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Octocrylene (6197-30-4)

Octocrylene Chemical Structure

What is Octocrylene?

Octocrylene is an organic compound that belongs to a class of chemicals known as cinnamates. It is an ester formed by the condensation of 2-ethylhexyl cyanoacetate with benzophenone. It helps protect the skin against UV radiation and is used as an additive ingredient in skin care products such as sunscreens and other cosmetics.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has approved the use of Octocrylene in sunscreen products and has found it safe for use in concentrations up to 10%.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading supplier of Octocrylene with ISO certification.
Name of Product Octocrylene
IUPAC Name 2-ethylhexyl 2-cyano-3,3-diphenylprop-2-enoate
Synonyms Octocrilene; Octocrileno; Octocrilenum; 2-Ethylhexyl 2-cyano-3,3-diphenylacrylate; Uvinul N-539
CAS No 6197-30-4
Molecular Formula C24H27NO2
Molecular Weight 361.5 g/mol
Pubchem CID 22571

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Form) Liquid
2 Appearance (Color) Yellow, clear, viscous liquid
3 Solubility In Water: 40 µg/L at 20 °C and pH 6.2
In DMSO: 130mg/mL
Miscible in methanol, n-butanol, ethyl acetate, mineral oil, hexane, toluene
4 Density 1.051 g/cm³ at 25 °C
5 Boiling Point 218 °C at 1.5 mm Hg (Substance decomposes before boiling, at >300 °C)
6 Partition coefficient (Log Pow) 6.1 at 23 °C


Octocrylene is a popular ingredient in many sunscreens and skin care products. It is most often used as a UV filter or absorber to protect the skin from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. Some of the main uses of octocrylene are as follows:

  • UV Protection: Octocrylene is effective in absorbing UVB (ultraviolet B) and some UVA (ultraviolet A) rays, providing broad-spectrum protection against sun damage. It helps prevent sunburns, premature skin aging and reduces the risk of skin cancer caused by UV exposure.
  • Photostability: It helps stabilize and enhance the photostability of other UV filters in sunscreen formulations and is thus often used in combination with other sunscreen ingredients to enhance the overall sun protection factor (SPF) of a product.
  • Solvent and Emollient: Octocrylene also acts as a solvent, helping to dissolve other oil-soluble sunscreen agents and cosmetic ingredients. Additionally, it possesses emollient properties, which can help moisturize and soften the skin.
  • Other Cosmetic Applications: Besides sunscreens, octocrylene can be found in various skincare and cosmetic products, such as moisturizers, lip balms, foundations, and anti-aging creams. It provides UV protection to these products and helps prevent sun-induced skin damage.

Side effects

  • Some people may develop skin irritation or allergic reactions such as redness, itching, rash, or hives.
  • It can be absorbed into the skin and may promote the generation of potentially harmful free radicals when exposed to light.
  • In rare cases, octocrylene has been associated with an increased risk of photosensitivity.


Q. Is Octocrylene safe in sunscreen?

Octocrylene is generally considered safe for use in sunscreen products when used within the approved concentration limits and as directed. However, some individuals may develop sensitivity or allergy to octocrylene.

Q. Is Octocrylene safe for coral reefs?

Octocrylene is suspected of being harmful to marine life, especially corals. It is not very biodegradable and can accumulate in coral reefs and act as a metabolic toxicant, potentially decreasing their resiliency to climate change.

Q. Does Octocrylene cause acne?

Octocrylene as such is not found to cause acne. However, other elements of the sunscreen may trigger breakouts in acne-prone skin.

Q. Does Octocrylene cause cancer?

Some studies have suggested that Octocrylene can breakdown into benzophenone, which is a suspected carcinogen.

Q. Is Octocrylene safe during pregnancy?

There is evidence that Octocrylene is responsible for reproductive toxicity. It is thus advised to avoid products containing Octocrylene during pregnancy.

Q. What does octocrylene do in sunscreen?

Octocrylene is a UV filter or absorber and helps in protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation by absorbing mainly UVB radiation and short UVA wavelengths.

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