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Benzophenone-7: 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 foreign language, especially when you’re confronted with a long list of scientific names on the back of your favorite products.

One such ingredient that you might have come across is Benzophenone-7. This might sound like a mouthful, but it’s actually a common component in many cosmetic products.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Benzophenone-7, exploring what it is, why it’s used in cosmetics, and what you need to know about its benefits and potential side effects.

What is Benzophenone-7?

Benzophenone-7, also known as 5-Chloro-2-Hydroxybenzophenone, is a common ingredient used in the cosmetic industry. It’s a chemical 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 light.

It’s synthesized through a process that involves the chlorination and hydroxylation of benzophenone. The result is a compound that can absorb UV light and convert it into less damaging heat energy. This helps to prevent sunburn and other forms of skin damage, as well as protecting the product itself from degradation due to UV exposure.

While you can find Benzophenone-7 sold as a standalone ingredient, it’s more commonly found as part of a wider formulation of ingredients within a product’s formulation. It’s often used in sunscreens, moisturizers, and other skincare products that are designed to be used outdoors.

Who Can Use Benzophenone-7?

Benzophenone-7 is suitable for all skin types. It’s a non-irritating ingredient that can be used even by those with sensitive skin. However, as with any ingredient, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.

As for its suitability for vegans and vegetarians, Benzophenone-7 is a synthetic ingredient, which means it’s not derived from animals. So yes, it’s suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

As for pregnant and breastfeeding women, there’s no specific evidence to suggest that Benzophenone-7 is harmful. However, as with any new product or ingredient, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before use.

The Cosmetic Benefits/Uses of Benzophenone-7

The benefits and uses listed in this section pertain strictly to the cosmetic applications of Benzophenone-7. This ingredient may have other applications in various industries, but those are beyond the scope of this article. The primary function of Benzophenone-7 in cosmetics is as a UV absorber. The following are the benefits of this ingredient based on this function:

  • Protection against harmful UV rays: Benzophenone-7 absorbs the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, thereby protecting the skin from damage. UV rays can cause premature aging, sunburn, and increase the risk of skin cancer. By absorbing these rays, Benzophenone-7 prevents them from penetrating the skin and causing harm.
  • Prevention of product degradation: In addition to protecting the skin, Benzophenone-7 also protects the product itself. UV rays can degrade the ingredients in cosmetic products, reducing their effectiveness and shelf life. By absorbing these rays, Benzophenone-7 helps to maintain the integrity and longevity of the product.
  • Enhancement of sunscreen effectiveness: Benzophenone-7 is often used in sunscreens due to its UV-absorbing properties. It enhances the effectiveness of the sunscreen by providing an additional layer of protection against UV rays. This makes the sunscreen more effective in protecting the skin from sun damage.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

Side effects and reactions to the topical application of Benzophenone-7 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-7 include:

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

If you experience any of these side effects while using Benzophenone-7 or a product containing it, it’s important to 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 to your skin type.

Adverse reactions to Benzophenone-7 are not common, but they can occur. It’s always important to monitor your skin’s reaction when introducing a new product or ingredient into your skincare routine.

One of the best ways to prevent adverse reactions is by conducting a patch test before fully applying a new product. This involves applying a small amount of the product to a discreet area of skin and waiting 24-48 hours to see if a reaction occurs. This can help you identify potential sensitivities or allergies before applying the product to a larger area of skin.

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 excess sebum 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-7 has a comedogenic rating of 0. This means it is non-comedogenic and is not likely to clog pores or cause acne. This rating is based on the molecular structure and properties of Benzophenone-7, which do not promote the clogging of pores.

Given its non-comedogenic nature, Benzophenone-7 is suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts. It can be used in skincare and cosmetic products without the risk of exacerbating acne or causing new breakouts.

Conclusion

Benzophenone-7 serves as a UV absorber in cosmetic products. It helps to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, thereby preventing sunburn and other forms of sun damage.

Despite its beneficial properties, Benzophenone-7 is not as popular as some other UV-absorbing ingredients. It is similar to ingredients like Octinoxate and Avobenzone, which are also used to absorb UV radiation, but these ingredients are more commonly found in sunscreen and other skincare products.

Overall, Benzophenone-7 is safe to use. It has a low risk of causing skin irritation or allergic reactions, and its non-comedogenic nature makes it suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin. However, as with any ingredient, it’s always best to patch test a new product containing Benzophenone-7 to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions.

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