C12-15 alkyl benzoate

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate at a Glance

  • Popular emollient (skin-softening, moisture-sealing) ingredient
  • Often used in sunscreens where it keeps active ingredients evenly dispersed throughout the formula
  • May also boost the SPF of certain sunscreen actives
  • Can impart a lightly conditioning, silky finish to products
  • Proven track record of safety in cosmetic use

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Description

C12-15 alkyl benzoate is used as an emollient (skin-softening, moisture-sealing), texture-enhancing and dispersing agent in cosmetics. This common, synthetic ingredient is an ester that’s soluble in oil and oil-like ingredients, and imparts a lightly conditioning, silky, non-oily finish to products.

C12-15 alkyl benzoate’s excellent solubility is one of the main reasons it’s used in so many sunscreens, as it helps keep the active ingredients evenly dispersed throughout the formula. Research also indicates it has the ability to boost the SPF of certain sunscreen actives.

Another advantage of C12-15 alkyl benzoate is its occlusive properties which help skin retain moisture over a longer period compared to some other emollients that deliver shorter-lived results.

In 2012, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed C12-15 alkyl benzoate as safe in the reported use/max concentration at that time (up to 59% in leave-on products).

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate References

The University of Toledo, May 2020, ePublication
Scientific Journal of the Faculty of Medicine in Nis, December 2013, pages 193-200
International Journal of Toxicology, November-December 2012, pages 342-372

See ester

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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:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!