While this ingredient is most commonly used in sunscreen, it also has moisturizing effects and emollient properties that make it a great component of other skin care products. This chemical has the ability to neutralize the UV rays from the sun and lessen the damage that is caused to the skin by over exposure to sunlight. Because of these properties it has become approved globally for use in skin care and cosmetic products, though it is often limited to less than 10-12% concentration in the product formulation as it can have adverse effects when found in too high of concentrations.
Use of Octocrylene
Outside of its use in sunscreens for the face and arms, it also is used in a variety of other products such as hair spray, conditioners, tanning oils, moisturizers and other skin creams. It is mostly used for its ability to coat the skin, providing protection from the sun by improving absorption of the product that is being applied.
Octocrylene is chemically stable and is used as an additive to products to prevent chemical degradation that results from exposure to sunlight. The sun’s rays can dry out the skin as well as products that are applied externally to the skin. The addition of octocrylene in a product helps slow this process by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface that keeps ultraviolet rays from penetrating the skin’s surface.
This product also has emollient properties, which means it locks in moisture to keep the skin hydrated. However, it is noted that this is not the main quality of this chemical, and if you are looking specifically to moisturize the skin you are better off with a product that is designed for that purpose. The main quality of octocrylene is to neutralize radiation from UV rays and should be used as such in sunscreens primarily.
This ingredient is often found in tandem with avobenzone, combining very well to provide protection from the sun and making it the preeminent coupling of ingredients in most of the sunscreen products on the market. Studies have shown that on its own this chemical does not provide as much as protection as it does when these two chemicals are found together in a product, as it helps boost the stability of other ingredients.
This chemical also has emulsifying qualities which means it is used to make the other ingredients mix better. As a result the product is smoother and easier to apply and be absorbed into the skin.
Concentrations of this chemical is limited in products because too much of it can have harmful side effects. Because it is absorbed into the skin so easily, it can penetrate to the deepest layers of the skin and has more interactions with other chemicals which causes changes deep in the skin. These issues can surface to the skin’s outer layers in the form of rashes, acne, or other irritations. If you have any worries about using a product with this ingredient, be sure to consult your dermatologist for an analysis first.