Benzophenone-8: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: March 6, 2024
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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-8.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Benzophenone-8, 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-8?

Benzophenone-8, also known as 2,2′-Dihydroxy-4-Methoxybenzophenone, 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 (UV) light.

Creating Benzophenone-8 involves a series of chemical reactions, starting with the base compound benzophenone. Through a process of hydroxylation and methoxylation, the final product, Benzophenone-8, is formed.

Its main purpose within products is to absorb UV light, preventing it from damaging the skin or causing other ingredients in the product to degrade. It works by absorbing the UV light and converting it into less harmful heat energy.

Typically, you won’t find Benzophenone-8 sold as a standalone product. It’s usually part of a wider formulation of ingredients within a product’s formulation, particularly in sunscreens and other skincare products that offer UV protection.

Who Can Use Benzophenone-8?

Benzophenone-8 is suitable for all skin types. It’s a non-irritating ingredient that’s designed to protect the skin from UV damage, making it a beneficial addition to any skincare routine.

As for its suitability for vegans and vegetarians, Benzophenone-8 is a synthetic compound, meaning it’s not derived from animals or animal by-products. So yes, it’s suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

Regarding its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, there’s currently no evidence to suggest that Benzophenone-8 is harmful. However, as with any skincare ingredient, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding to ensure it’s safe for you to use.

The Cosmetic Benefits/Uses of Benzophenone-8

The benefits and uses listed in this section are strictly the cosmetic benefits and uses of Benzophenone-8. This ingredient may have applications in multiple different industries, which are beyond the scope of this article. The benefits of Benzophenone-8 are based on its official function as a UV absorber.

  • Protection against UV radiation: Benzophenone-8 is a potent UV absorber. It absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, preventing them from penetrating the skin. This is crucial as UV radiation can cause skin damage, leading to premature aging, sunburn, and in severe cases, skin cancer. By absorbing these harmful rays, Benzophenone-8 helps to protect the skin, maintaining its health and vitality.
  • Prevention of product degradation: In addition to protecting the skin, Benzophenone-8 also protects the cosmetic product itself. UV radiation can degrade the ingredients in cosmetics, reducing their effectiveness and altering their properties. By absorbing UV rays, Benzophenone-8 prevents this degradation, ensuring that the product maintains its intended benefits and functions for a longer period.
  • Enhancement of sunscreen efficacy: Benzophenone-8 is often used in sunscreens due to its UV-absorbing properties. It enhances the product’s ability to protect the skin from sun damage, making it an essential ingredient in high-SPF products. It works by absorbing the UV rays and converting them into less harmful heat, which is then released from the skin.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

It’s important to note that side effects and reactions to the topical application of Benzophenone-8 can vary significantly from person to person. Everyone’s skin is unique, and what may cause a reaction in one person may not in another.

Some potential side effects related to the topical application of Benzophenone-8 include:

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

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Benzophenone-8, it’s recommended 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 for your skin.

Adverse reactions to Benzophenone-8 are not common, but they can occur. It’s always important to monitor your skin’s response 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 can help identify any potential reactions in a controlled manner, reducing the risk of a full-blown skin reaction.

Comedogenic Rating

Comedogenicity refers to the potential of a substance to cause comedones, which are skin blemishes often associated with acne. These are caused by the blockage of pores by certain cosmetic ingredients. The comedogenic rating of a substance ranges from 0 to 5, with 0 indicating that the substance is non-comedogenic and 5 indicating that it is highly comedogenic.

Benzophenone-8 has a comedogenic rating of 0. This means that it is non-comedogenic and does not block the pores of the skin. This rating is based on the molecular structure and properties of Benzophenone-8, which do not contribute to the formation of comedones.

Given its non-comedogenic nature, Benzophenone-8 is suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts. It does not contribute to the blockage of pores, which is a major cause of acne.

Conclusion

Benzophenone-8 is primarily used as a UV absorber in cosmetic products. It helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin damage and premature aging.

Despite its beneficial properties, Benzophenone-8 is not as popular as some other cosmetic ingredients. It is similar to other UV absorbers in its function, but it is not as widely used due to its relatively higher cost and the availability of cheaper alternatives.

However, Benzophenone-8 is generally safe to use. It is non-comedogenic and does not cause skin irritation or other adverse effects in most individuals. However, as with any cosmetic ingredient, it is always advisable to perform a patch test before using products containing Benzophenone-8, especially for individuals with sensitive skin.

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