Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate

What Is It?

Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate is an organic compound that absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light.

Why Is It Used?

In Europe, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate is an approved UV filter, which means that this ingredient can be added to sunscreen products that are designed to protect the skin from the sun. In Europe, sunscreen products are considered cosmetic products. In the United States, sunscreen products are Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs and only certain ingredients have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in these products. In assessing sunscreen active ingredients, the FDA reviews both safety and efficacy. The safety and efficacy of Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate has not yet been reviewed for sunscreen use by the FDA and it cannot be used in sunscreen drug products. For cosmetics and personal care products in the United States, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate can be used as a ultraviolet light absorber. In this case, the ingredient serves to protect the product from deterioration by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering UV light.

Scientific Facts

Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate absorbs UV radiation which is an important cause of sunburn, premature aging of the skin and in the development of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

Safety Information

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) has evaluated the safety of Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate. Based on their review, they concluded that use of this ingredient in cosmetic sun protection products at a maximum concentration of 6% would not pose a health hazard.

Information reviewed by the SCCP indicated that Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate was not a dermal irritant or sensitizer, nor was it a photoirritant or photosensitizer. Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate was not mutagenic in bacteria or in mammalian cells. It also tested negative for developmental effects.

Link to the SCCP Opinion:

Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate is listed in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used as a UV filter in cosmetics and personal care products at a maximum concentration of 6% (see Annex VII).

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate is a quaternary ammonium compound. In cosmetics and personal care products, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate functions as an ultraviolet light absorber. UV absorbers, like sunscreen agents, have the ability to convert UV radiation into less damaging infrared radiation (heat).


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