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Response from Melanie Timms, Elta MD

This ingredient [Butyloctyl Salicylate] is commonly used in sunscreens (as well as, color cosmetics/foundation/make-up), and its multi-functional utility can be broadly summarized into 3 categories: solubilizer, photostabilizer and carrier/dispersant - specifically in sunscreens that contain Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. While there is controversy in the sunscreen world over its ability to act as an UVB 'boosting ingredient" - it still serves primarily as a solvent for both pigments (iron oxides) as well as minerals like zinc or titanium dioxide.

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