Homosalate: What Is It, Skin Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

This article was last updated on: May 11, 2023

Picture this: you’re standing in the skincare aisle, scanning the endless array of products lining the shelves. You finally spot one that promises to deliver the results you’ve been longing for. Excited, you flip the bottle to look at the ingredients list – only to be met with a jumble of words that seem to require a degree in chemistry to decipher. We’ve all been there, and it’s enough to make anyone feel lost in a sea of unpronounceable compounds.

One such ingredient that you might stumble upon in your cosmetic crusade is Homosalate. This mysterious-sounding component can be found in various products, leaving many of us wondering what it is and what it does for our skin.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Homosalate, exploring its benefits, cosmetic uses, and potential side effects. So, buckle up and get ready for an enlightening journey into the realm of this intriguing ingredient.

What is Homosalate?

Homosalate, also known as benzoic acid, 2-hydroxy-, 3,3,5-trimethyl cyclohexyl ester, is a chemical compound commonly used in cosmetic and skincare products. Its primary purpose is to serve as a UV absorber and filter, protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. By doing so, Homosalate helps to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and other skin damage that can result from UV exposure.

This ingredient is often found in sunscreens, moisturizers with SPF, and other sun protection products. Typically, Homosalate is not sold as a stand-alone ingredient but rather as part of a more extensive formulation that includes other UV filters and skincare components. The concentration of Homosalate in a product can vary, but it’s generally found at levels between 1% and 15%, depending on the desired sun protection factor (SPF) and other ingredients in the formulation.

In addition to its sun protection capabilities, Homosalate also has some minor fragrance properties, which can contribute to the overall sensory experience of a cosmetic product.

Who Can Use Homosalate?

Homosalate is a versatile ingredient that is suitable for a wide range of skin types. Whether you have oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin, Homosalate can provide essential sun protection without causing irritation or exacerbating existing skin conditions. It’s important to remember that sun protection is a crucial aspect of skincare for everyone, regardless of the specific skin type.

When it comes to lifestyle considerations, Homosalate is a synthetic ingredient, which means it is not derived from animal sources. As a result, it is generally considered suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. However, it’s always a good idea to check the label of a specific product to ensure that all components align with your dietary preferences and lifestyle choices.

Homosalate Skin Benefits

Homosalate offers several skin benefits, mainly due to its official functions as a UV absorber, UV filter, and fragrance component. Let’s explore these benefits in more depth:

  • UV protection: Homosalate absorbs and filters out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, specifically UVB rays. These rays can cause sunburn, premature aging, and all sorts of unpleasant skin ailments. Incorporating Homosalate into sun protection products helps to safeguard the skin against these damaging effects, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities with confidence and a reduced risk of sun-related skin issues.

It’s important to note that the beneficial effects of Homosalate are not permanent. To maintain these benefits, it’s crucial to sustain the usage of products containing this ingredient, especially when it comes to sun protection.

Homosalate’s Non-Active Cosmetic Uses

While the primary focus of Homosalate is sun protection, it also offers some non-active cosmetic uses that contribute to a product’s overall effectiveness and appeal. Based on its official functions, let’s explore these non-active uses in more depth:

  • Fragrance enhancement: As mentioned earlier, Homosalate has some fragrance properties. While not its primary purpose, the inclusion of Homosalate can subtly enhance the scent of a cosmetic product. This added sensory experience can make a product more appealing to consumers, as a pleasant fragrance can evoke positive emotions and create a more enjoyable skincare routine.
  • Texture improvement: Some UV filters can cause a product to feel heavy or greasy on the skin. However, Homosalate is known for its lightweight, non-greasy texture. When included in a formulation, it can contribute to a more pleasant skin feel, making the product more comfortable to wear and easier to apply. This improved texture is especially important in sun protection products, as it encourages consistent use and proper application.

Homosalate Potential Side Effects

It’s important to note that side effects and reactions to Homosalate, or any cosmetic ingredient for that matter, can vary from person to person. This variability is mainly due to individual differences in skin type, sensitivity levels, and the unique characteristics of each person’s skin. To better understand your skin’s needs and potential reactions, it’s helpful to find your skin type.

That being said, let’s explore some potential side effects and interactions associated with Homosalate:

  • Skin irritation: In rare cases, Homosalate may cause skin irritation, such as redness, itching, or burning. This reaction is more likely to occur in individuals with sensitive skin or a history of allergies to certain skincare ingredients.
  • Allergic reactions: Though uncommon, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Homosalate, resulting in symptoms like hives, rash, or swelling.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Homosalate, it’s essential to discontinue use immediately and consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional for further guidance.

It’s worth noting that adverse reactions to Homosalate are rare, and generally speaking, the ingredient is considered safe and effective for most people. However, as with any cosmetic product, it’s crucial to perform a patch test before incorporating a new ingredient into your skincare routine. A patch testing guide can be helpful in ensuring that you safely introduce new products and minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

Comedogenic Rating

Homosalate has a comedogenic rating of 1, which means it has a very low likelihood of causing pore-clogging or contributing to acne. This low rating is due to Homosalate’s lightweight, non-greasy texture, which allows it to be easily absorbed by the skin without leaving a heavy residue. As a result, it is considered safe and suitable for use across various skin types, including acne-prone and oily skin.


Achieving success in skincare often involves experimentation and trial-and-error, as each individual’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Homosalate is an ingredient that offers both active and non-active benefits, providing immediate sun protection while also enhancing the overall sensory experience and effectiveness of cosmetic products.

While Homosalate might not be as well-known as some other skincare ingredients, its proven efficacy in providing UV protection makes it an essential component in many sun protection products. Its low comedogenic rating and compatibility with various skin types also contribute to its appeal.

Overall, Homosalate is a valuable ingredient that plays a crucial role in safeguarding our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. By understanding its benefits, potential side effects, and cosmetic uses, we can make informed decisions when choosing skincare products and ensure that we provide our skin with the protection and care it deserves.

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