Behenyl Behenate



Behenyl Behenate at a glance

  • Ester of behenic acid and behenyl alcohol
  • Plant-derived or synthetic
  • Hydrates skin + helps prevent moisture loss
  • Considered safe as used in cosmetics

Behenyl Behenate description

Behenyl behenate is the wax-like ester of the fatty acid behenic acid and fatty alcohol behenyl alcohol. This plant-derived or synthetic ingredient (Paula’s Choice uses the former) hydrates skin and adds occlusive properties to emulsions like creams and lotions, which help to prevent moisture loss. This ingredient is considered safe as used in cosmetics, including products meant for application to lips. Usage levels in cosmetics range from 1–20%. Interestingly, behenic acid is one of the fatty acids that occurs naturally in human sebum (oil), so it’s considered bio-compatible with skin. Behenic acid is also one of the saturated main fatty acids found in fish oil.

Behenyl Behenate references

  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2017, pages 206-216
  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2015, pages 5S-69S
  • British Journal of Dermatology, February 2012, pages 279-287
  • Pharmazie, March 1995, pages 188-190

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated