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Butyloctyl Benzoate: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 13, 2024

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Ever wondered what makes your favorite skincare products so luxuriously smooth? Dive into our comprehensive guide on Butyloctyl Benzoate, uncovering its origins, benefits, and the essential role it plays in your beauty routine.

What Is Butyloctyl Benzoate?

Butyloctyl Benzoate, also known by its chemical name 1-Octanol, 2-butyl-, benzoate, is a versatile ingredient commonly found in cosmetic products. This compound is a benzoate ester, which means it is derived from benzoic acid and an alcohol—in this case, 1-octanol. The ingredient is celebrated for its multifunctional properties, including acting as a plasticiser, skin conditioning agent, emollient, and solvent.

The history of Butyloctyl Benzoate in cosmetics dates back to the ongoing quest for ingredients that can enhance the texture, stability, and efficacy of beauty products. Initially, benzoates were explored for their preservative qualities, but over time, their derivatives like Butyloctyl Benzoate were found to offer additional benefits, particularly in the realm of skin conditioning and emollience. This discovery led to its widespread adoption in various formulations, from lotions and creams to makeup and sunscreens.

The production of Butyloctyl Benzoate involves a chemical reaction known as esterification. This process combines benzoic acid with 1-octanol in the presence of a catalyst, usually an acid, to form the ester bond. The result is a stable, non-greasy liquid that can easily blend with other ingredients, enhancing the overall performance of the cosmetic product. This method ensures that the final product is both effective and safe for use on the skin.

The Benefits/Uses of Butyloctyl Benzoate

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Butyloctyl Benzoate:


Butyloctyl Benzoate acts as a plasticiser, which means it helps to increase the flexibility and fluidity of formulations. This is particularly useful in products like nail polishes and hair sprays, where a flexible film is desirable. By making these products more pliable, it helps them adhere better and last longer without cracking or flaking.

Skin Conditioning

One of the standout benefits of Butyloctyl Benzoate is its skin conditioning properties. This means it helps to keep the skin soft, smooth, and hydrated. It works by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface, which helps to lock in moisture and protect the skin from environmental stressors. This makes it a popular ingredient in lotions, creams, and other skincare products aimed at improving skin texture and appearance.


As an emollient, Butyloctyl Benzoate helps to soften and soothe the skin. It fills in the tiny gaps between skin cells, creating a smooth surface. This is particularly beneficial for dry or rough skin, as it helps to restore a softer, more supple feel. You’ll often find it in moisturizers, body butters, and other products designed to provide deep hydration and comfort.


Butyloctyl Benzoate also functions as a solvent, which means it helps to dissolve other ingredients in a formulation. This is crucial for ensuring that the product has a uniform texture and that active ingredients are evenly distributed. This property is especially important in products like serums and lotions, where a smooth, consistent application is key to effectiveness.

Note: the listed benefits above are exclusively based on the officially recognized and defined functions of the ingredient, as documented by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

Potential Side Effects & Other Considerations

Butyloctyl Benzoate is generally considered safe for use in cosmetic products. It has a low potential for causing irritation or allergic reactions, making it suitable for most skin types. However, as with any cosmetic ingredient, there are potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, data and research on the topical usage of Butyloctyl Benzoate during pregnancy are lacking. Therefore, it is advisable for these individuals to consult a healthcare professional for further advice before using products containing this ingredient.

Adverse reactions to Butyloctyl Benzoate are relatively uncommon. However, it is always recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage to ensure that your skin does not react negatively to the ingredient.

Butyloctyl Benzoate has a comedogenic rating of 1, meaning it is very unlikely to clog pores. This makes it a suitable option for individuals prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts, as it is not expected to exacerbate these conditions.

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