Monday, May 18, 2020Ingredient of the month

Butylphenyl methylpropional: a name to keep in mind… and ban

Butylphenyl methylpropional : un nom à retenir… et à bannir

It has such a barbaric official name, Butylphenyl methylpropional, that it is commonly referred to by its main trade name: Lilial. And the toxicological profile of this fragrant substance, present in many cosmetic products, also seems to be prohibitive, since the European Scientific Expert Committee for Consumer Safety, after having judged it “not safe” for human health, now seems to accept it only with great caution.

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Its chemical name is 2-(4-tert-Butylbenzyl)propionaldehyde (No.CAS : 80-54-6, No.CE : 201-289-8), its acronym, BMHCA, and its INCI name, which refers to it in cosmetic ingredient lists, Butylphenyl Methylpropional. It is also known by its trade names, including Lilial® or Lysmeral® Extra .
It is a synthetic substance, which in its pure state, in liquid, colourless or pale yellow form, and has the particularity of having an intense floral scent reminiscent of lily of the valley.

An omnipresent scent

This property has led to its use in many perfume compositions, and in many sectors of the consumer products industry. It can be found in all categories of cosmetic products: soaps and shower gels, shampoos and hair products, face and body care creams and milks, make-up removers, deodorants, make-up, sun protection products, perfumes and eaux de toilette… And it is also present in biocidal products, paints and other building products, printer inks and toners, shoe polishes and varnishes, household products, or, in general, in all consumer products that can be scented : clothing, toys, paper, etc.

Ubiquitous, then. But of a controversial safety, and which has been strongly questioned by the CSSC, the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety, an independent European college …

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