Know Your Ingredients: Oxybenzone

by beautifulwithbrains

What it is
Oxybenzone, also called Benzophenone-3, is a compound derived from benzophenone.

What it does
Oxybenzone is a sunscreen agent that protects from UVB and some (not all) UVA rays. It needs to be used together with other sunscreen ingredients to provide broad spectrum protection.

Side effects
Oxybenzone can cause irritations.

(Source: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, April 2011)

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LaDamaBianca August 20, 2011 - 1:39 pm

Questo filtro non mi piace per nulla. Purtroppo me lo sono ritrovato in una crema, e ovviamente non la comprerò più.

beautifulwithbrains August 20, 2011 - 3:04 pm

LaDamaBianca, che peccato! Questo filtro non piace molto neanche a me. Non penso sia pericoloso ma ce ne sono di più efficaci e meno irritanti come Zinc Oxide o Titanium Dioxide.

Jeni August 23, 2011 - 8:18 am

This is one ingredient I always avoid in sunscreens because it makes my face burn when I’m in the sun. I guess that’s slightly ironic!

beautifulwithbrains August 23, 2011 - 3:50 pm

Jeni, that is ironic indeed! And what a shame!

Diana April 24, 2013 - 1:13 am

I just found it in a face cream. Really not safe linked to many cases of cancer (melanoma) you can read the story here

beautifulwithbrains April 24, 2013 - 6:08 am

Diana, thank you for your comment. All the studies I’ve found so far claim that Oxybenzone, at the concentrations at which it is used atm, isn’t toxic. Here are a few links:, and

However, because it can be absorbed by the body, dermatologists recommend not to use it on children.

But I will do some more research and see if, in recent months, some new proof of its safety or lack of it has surfaced.


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