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Tuesday, September 1, 2015Ingredient of the month

MBBT: an exceptional, but contradictory UV-filter

© Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

MBBT, Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol in INCI lists of ingredients, is a very specific UV protective agent. It is both a filter and a screen, and efficient against UVBs and UVAs. It is synthetic, but in the nanoparticle form, and considered safe for use in Europe… with a few reservations, though.

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This substance is identified by the chemical name, 2,2’-Methylene bis(6-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol). It is also known as Bisoctrizole or designated with the INCI name, Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol, the trade names Tinosorb®M or FAT 75’634 in its nano form, or simply the MBBT abbreviation.

In its nano-form, this yellowish powder takes the form of a viscous white dispersion, whose manufacturing process involves the use of Decyl Glucoside (as a dispersing agent), Propylene Glycol, and Xanthan gum as a stabilizer. It is used for its UV protective properties, mainly in sun creams, but also in skin brightening products, or skincare and makeup products with an SPF. It is authorized in cosmetics in Europe, at a maximum concentration of 10%.

A multifunctional UV-filter

As far as cosmetics formulators are concerned, MBBT offers numerous advantages. Its structure and properties make it a really exceptional UV-filter.

Chemical and physical

MBBT is quite rare in that it covers a broad UV spectrum, which guarantees protection against 280 to 400 nm wavelengths: both UVAs and UVBs.
It owes this property to its unique hybrid, organic structure, but it also includes microparticles down to the nano size, similarly to mineral screens (Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide). Therefore, it can ‘accumulate’ several …

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