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You are here: Skin Protection > Sunscreens / Sunblocks >

Chemical UVB+UVA sunscreen/sunblock: octocrylene

Generic name: octocrylene

Brand(s): Various

Type: Chemical

Range of UV spectrum covered: UVB, short UVA (UVA-2) but not long UVA

Wavelengths covered: 290-350 nm

Stability:
Highly stable, does not degrade in sunlight. Protects other UV blocking agents from UV-induced degradation.

Summary:
Octocrylene is an oil soluble, water resistant absorber covering UVB and short UVA (a.k.a. UVA-2). It is a relatively weak sunscreen, inadequate when used alone. On the other hand, octocrylene is very stable and it both protects and augments other UV absorbers while improving their uniform skin coating. Octocrylene is absorbed into the skin and has been shown in some studies to promote generation of potentially harmful free radicals. The health implications are unclear but some experts have raised concerns that warrant further research.

Details:
Octocrylene is an oil soluble, water resistant absorber covering UVB and part of UVA range called short UVA (a.k.a. UVA-2). However, even in the parts of the spectrum where octocrylene absorbs UV radiation, it is a relatively weak sunscreen. Used alone it is inadequate for either UVB or UVA protection. On the other hand, octocrylene is very stable and it both protects and augments other UV absorbers while improving their uniform skin coating.

Octocrylene is relatively easily absorbed into the skin and has been shown in some studies to promote generation of potentially harmful free radicals. Implications of these finding for typical use are unknown but some experts have raised concerns that warrant further research. (See our article on possible risks of absorbable chemical sunscreens.)




Related Links
The dark side of chemical sunscreens. Should you be concerned about photosensitization?
Index of sun blocking agents
User reviews of sunscreens
eMedicine: Sunscreens and photoprotection
Wikipedia: Sunscreens (incl. list of approved sunblocks)




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