Behenyl behenate is the wax-like ester of the fatty acid behenic acid and fatty alcohol behenyl alcohol. This plant-derived or synthetic ingredient (Paula’s Choice uses the former) hydrates skin and also adds occlusive properties to emulsions like creams and lotions, which help to prevent moisture loss. It is considered safe as used in cosmetics, including products meant for application to lips.
Interestingly, behenic acid is one of the fatty acids that occurs naturally in human sebum (oil), so it’s considered bio-compatible with skin. Behenic acid is also one of the saturated main fatty acids found in fish oil.
References for this information:
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2017, pages 206-216
British Journal of Dermatology, February 2012, pages 279-287
Pharmazie, March 1995, pages 188-190
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
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