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Utilité Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate.

What is "Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate" and what is its purpose?

Common in sun protection products, it's not unusual to see "Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate" in the list of ingredients. But what is it? We answer this question in this article.

"Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate": Why use it in cosmetic products?

In the cosmetic industry, "Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate" (INCI) is a synthetic sun protection agent from the benzophenone family. It is frequently added to sunscreen formulas to protect the skin and hair from acute and chronic damage caused by UVA radiation. By reducing the skin and hair's exposure to UVA, it helps prevent premature skin aging due to sunlight and skin cancer.

Reminder : UVA rays are present throughout the day and penetrate deeply into the skin, where they trigger a cascade of undesirable effects that notably accelerate the visible signs of aging (wrinkles, loss of firmness, etc.).

Structure chimique du benzoate de diéthylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl.
Source: PubChem.

It also helps to protect cosmetic products from the deteriorating effects of sunlight, thereby enhancing the shelf life of the formulas. In vitro, the topical application of diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate has shown a significant anti-inflammatory effect on mouse ears by inhibiting the formation of edema by about 70%.

Chemical and Physical CharacteristicsValues
Chemical FormulaC24H31NO4
SynonymDHHB, Uvinul A Plus
AppearanceA white to slightly colored powder with a faint characteristic odor
Molar Mass397.51 g/mol
SolubilitySoluble in oils and ethanol

How? Due to its benzophenone structure (bicyclic ketone with the raw formula C13H10O), DHHB forms an invisible sun protection shield in the upper layer of the epidermis (stratum corneum), where it absorbs, reflects, and disperses the dangerous UVA rays in the wavelength range between 320 nm and 400 nm with a maximum protection at 354 nm. The absorbed energy is then either released as heat, or as radiation of a longer and therefore harmless wavelength.

Spectre d'absorption du benzoate de diéthylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyle.
The DHHB covers the entire UVA radiation spectrum (320 - 400 nm) with a peak absorption maximum at 354. Source: Supplier data sheet.

Superior to that of theavobenzone, this organic UVA filter is also well known for its excellent light stability properties. Moreover, recent studies have also indicated the high photostabilization of DHHB in the presence of other UV filters. It can thus be combined with other sunscreens and even enhance the photostability of other sun protection agents. Additionally, being lipophilic, this chemical characteristic strengthens the affinity of DHHB for the epidermis, which contains natural lipids.

Due to its unique properties, we have decided to incorporate the DHHB into the formulation of our sun care products for high and effective protection against UVA rays.

However, although diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, used exclusively as a chemical UV filter, has been approved by numerous markets (South America, Japan, China, European Union, Australia, etc.), its use is subject to a restriction. In 2008, a report from the European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection estimated that diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate does not pose a risk to consumer health at a maximum authorized concentration of 10%, whether used alone or in combination with other chemical and/or physical sun filters.

Approved as a high-absorption UV filter in the UVA range in many global markets, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate is however prohibited in the United States and Canada for use in sunscreens.

What is its safety profile? At a maximum concentration of 10% (w/w) in cosmetic products, "Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate" is considered safe for skin use. Although its allergenic and irritant potential is low, it is recommended to test cosmetic products on a small area of the body before more extensive use. However, the health risk of exposure through inhalation has not yet been evaluated.

However, fears regarding the risk of cancer following its topical use are largely unfounded. Moreover, according to the results of a study on rats evaluating percutaneous absorption, only a minor amount of diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate is absorbed (approximately 0.10 μg/cm2). Indeed, most of the compound remains in the upper layers of the stratum corneum.


  • Fiche fournisseur.

  • PubChem. Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate.

  • Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP). Opinion on Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (2008).

  • COIFFARD L. & al. UV filters, ingredients with a recognized anti-inflammatory effect. PLoS One (2012).

  • LI H. & al. Degradation of organic ultraviolet filter diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate in aqueous solution by UV/H2O2. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International (2015).

  • GASPAR L. R. & al. Diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate (DHHB) as additive to the UV filter avobenzone in cosmetic sunscreen formulations ‐ Evaluation of the photochemical behavior and photostabilizing effect. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2016).


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