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Benzophenone-10: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

This article was last updated on: March 1, 2024

Understanding the world of cosmetics can often feel like trying to decipher a complex scientific equation, especially when you start to look at the long list of scientific names on the back of your favorite products.

One such ingredient that you might come across in your cosmetics is Benzophenone-10.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Benzophenone-10, exploring what it is, why it’s used in cosmetic products, its benefits, and potential side effects.

What is Benzophenone-10?

Benzophenone-10, also known as 2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxy-4′-Methylbenzophenone, is a common ingredient used in the cosmetic industry. It’s a synthetic compound that’s primarily used as a UV absorber. This means it helps to protect the skin and other ingredients in a product from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) light.

Creating Benzophenone-10 involves a series of chemical reactions, starting with the base compound benzophenone. The process adds a hydroxy group, a methoxy group, and a methyl group to the benzophenone molecule, resulting in the final product.

While you might find Benzophenone-10 sold on its own, it’s more commonly found as part of a wider formulation of ingredients within a product. It’s often used in sunscreens, moisturizers, and other skincare products that are designed to protect the skin from UV damage.

Who Can Use Benzophenone-10?

Benzophenone-10 is suitable for all skin types. It’s a non-irritating ingredient that can help to protect the skin from UV damage, making it a beneficial addition to many skincare products.

As a synthetic compound, Benzophenone-10 is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. It doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products, so it aligns with the principles of these dietary and lifestyle choices.

As for pregnant and breastfeeding women, there’s no specific evidence to suggest that Benzophenone-10 is unsafe. However, as with any skincare ingredient, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before using products containing Benzophenone-10 during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Benzophenone-10’s Cosmetic Benefits/Uses

The benefits and uses listed in this section are strictly the cosmetic benefits and uses of Benzophenone-10. This ingredient may have applications in multiple different industries, but those are beyond the scope of this article. The following benefits are based on the official function of Benzophenone-10 as a UV absorber:

  • Protection against UV radiation: Benzophenone-10 absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically in the UVB range. This is the range of UV light that causes sunburn and can damage the skin’s DNA, leading to premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer. By absorbing this harmful radiation, Benzophenone-10 protects the skin from these damaging effects. It essentially acts as a shield, preventing the UVB rays from penetrating the skin and causing harm.
  • Prevention of product degradation: In addition to protecting the skin, Benzophenone-10 also protects the product it is in. UV light can degrade many cosmetic ingredients, reducing their effectiveness and potentially causing them to break down into harmful compounds. By absorbing the UV light, Benzophenone-10 prevents this degradation, maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the product.
  • Enhancement of product shelf life: By preventing product degradation, Benzophenone-10 also enhances the product’s shelf life. Products that contain this ingredient are less likely to degrade over time, even when exposed to sunlight. This makes them more stable and longer-lasting, providing better value for the consumer.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

Side effects and reactions to the topical application of Benzophenone-10 can vary significantly from person to person. It’s important to understand that everyone’s skin is unique, and what may cause a reaction in one person may not in another.

Some potential side effects and interactions related to the topical application of Benzophenone-10 include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions

If you experience any of these side effects while using Benzophenone-10 or a product containing it, discontinue use immediately and consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist. They can provide guidance on how to treat the reaction and suggest alternative products that may be better suited for your skin.

Adverse reactions to Benzophenone-10 are not common, but they can occur, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin or those who are allergic to the ingredient.

Before using any new skincare product, it’s crucial to perform a patch test. This simple step can help you avoid potential adverse reactions by determining how your skin will react to the product in a controlled manner. Remember, your skin’s health and safety should always be your top priority.

Comedogenic Rating

Comedogenicity refers to the potential of a substance to cause comedones, which are skin blemishes often associated with acne. These blemishes occur when pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. In the context of cosmetic ingredients, a comedogenic rating is used to indicate how likely an ingredient is to clog pores and potentially lead to acne.

Benzophenone-10 has a comedogenic rating of 1. This means it has a very low likelihood of clogging pores and causing acne. This rating is based on the molecular structure of Benzophenone-10, which is not likely to cause pore blockages.

Given its low comedogenic rating, Benzophenone-10 is generally suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts. However, everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to patch test new products containing this ingredient to ensure they don’t cause any adverse reactions.

Conclusion

Benzophenone-10 is primarily used in cosmetics as a UV absorber. This means it helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

Despite its beneficial properties, Benzophenone-10 is not as popular as some other UV absorbers. It is similar to ingredients like Octinoxate and Avobenzone, which are also used to protect the skin from UV radiation. However, these ingredients are more commonly found in sunscreens and other skincare products.

In terms of safety, Benzophenone-10 is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics. Its low comedogenic rating means it’s unlikely to cause acne or breakouts. However, as with any ingredient, it’s important to use products containing Benzophenone-10 as directed and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.

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