UV light has a wavelength shorter than visible light. Prolonged exposure to UV light may result in health effects in the skin, eye and immune system. UV light damages collagen and contributes to aging of skin. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate) can help protect against sunburn and other skin damage caused by UV light by absorbing UV radiation.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an OTC (over the counter) drug review of Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and did approve it for use in sunscreens up to a concentration of 7.5%. There are some studies that this ingredient may produce excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, and lead to cell death. This reaction may also be implicated in cardiovascular disease. However, another study concluded that octyl methoxycinnamate and other sun screening agents do not penetrate the outer skin in sufficient concentration to cause any significant toxicity. Once again, we as consumers need to balance the benefits of the ingredients against the harmful side effects.