Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate



Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate at a glance

  • An ester that functions as an antioxidant and photostabilizer
  • Stabilizes UV filters, especially avobenzone
  • Can increase critical wavelength (amount of UVA protection) in sunscreen formulas
  • Helps boost SPF of sunscreen formulas

Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate description

Diethylhexyl syringylidenemalonate (DESM) is an ester that functions as an antioxidant and helps protect cosmetics from chemical or physical deterioration induced by light. This means it is a photostabilizer. In this function, it also stabilizes many UV filters, most notably avobenzone. Research shows diethylhexyl syringylidenemalonate can increase critical wavelength in sunscreens (a measure of protection against UVA rays) and boost SPF in sunscreen formulas. At room temperature it is a viscous yellowish liquid or a low-melting solid. Maximum usage levels for this antioxidant haven’t been established; however, amounts between 0.3–0.5% produce the desired photostabilizing effects in sunscreens.

Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate references

  • Cosmetics, May 2017, ePublication
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2017, pages 25-35
  • Journal of Cosmetic Science, September-October 2013, pages 317-328
  • Photochemistry and Photobiology, May-June 2006, Volume 82, Issue 3, pages 823-828

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.