Dibutyl Adipate



Dibutyl Adipate at a glance

  • Ester blend of a fatty alcohol and fatty acid
  • Offers skin-smoothing emolliency
  • Serves as a solvent for UV filters
  • Enhances spread and overall aesthetics

Dibutyl Adipate description

Dibutyl adipate is a synthetic ester blend of the fatty alcohol butyl alcohol and the fatty acid known as adipic acid. This versatile ingredient can work as an emollient, solvent for UV filters, and film-forming agent. It has a smooth, lubricating feel on skin that enhances spreadability, one reason it’s a popular addition to many sunscreen formulas. Usage levels of dibutyl adipate in cosmetics range from 0.005–8%, depending on formulary and aesthetic needs. Safety testing of this ingredient was performed several times, with the most recent report being completed in 2012. Dibutyl adipate is considered safe as currently used in cosmetics. It’s described as a clear, colorless and odorless ingredient with an oily feel. Studies on the pore-clogging potential of this ingredient have shown even very high concentrations (upwards of 80%) do not cause this issue.

Dibutyl Adipate references

  • Pharmaceutics, August 2022, pages 1–19
  • International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 31, Supplement 1, 2012, pages 5S–76S; and Volume 25, Supplement 1, 2006, pages S129–S134

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