« Back to Glossary Index

A chemical sunscreen that works by converting the energy from UV rays into a non-harmful form, such as heat. Not recommended for kids or pregnant women, as it gets absorbed into the body.

Octocrylene (Wikipedia)
Structural formula of octocrylene
Space-filling model of octocrylene
IUPAC names
2-ethylhexyl 2-cyano-3,3-
6197-30-4 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL1201147 N
ChemSpider 21165 YesY
Jmol 3D image Interactive graph
PubChem 22571
Molar mass 361.48 g/mol
Density 1.05 g/cm3
Melting point 14 °C (57 °F; 287 K)
Boiling point 218 °C (424 °F; 491 K) at 1.5 mmHg
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Octocrylene is an organic compound used as an ingredient in sunscreens and cosmetics. It is an ester formed by the condensation of a diphenylcyanoacrylate with 2-ethylhexanol. It is a viscous, oily liquid that is clear and colorless.

The extended conjugation of the acrylate portion of the molecule absorbs UVB and short-wave UVA (ultraviolet) rays with wavelengths from 280 to 320 nm, protecting the skin from direct DNA damage. The ethylhexanol portion is a fatty alcohol, adding emollient and oil-like (water resistant) properties.

This organic compound can penetrate into the skin where it acts as a photosensitizer. This results in an increased production of free radicals under illumination. Free radicals are known to induce indirect DNA damage, and an increased concentration of free radicals might have contributed to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users (see Epidemiology of malignant melanoma)[weasel words][citation needed]. The only evidence gathered to date of a relationship between sunscreen use and malignant melanoma is correlational, but has not established a causal relationship.

« Back to Glossary Index