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Some inactive ingredients in sunscreen have a photostabilizing effect, which may enhance the function of active UV agents. These stabilizers include:

Tinogard TL (Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, BDC)
Butyloctyl Salicylate (BOS)
Diethylhexyl Naphthalate (DEHN, Corapan TQ)
Diethylhexyl Syringylidene Malonate (DEHSM)
Ethylhexyl methoxycrylene (SolaStay S1, EHMC)
Polyester-8 (Polycrylene, PC)

Ethylhexyl methoxycrylene and polyester-8 are two inactives that help stabilize sunscreens. In particular, ethylhexyl methoxycrylene is thought to stabilize avobenzone more so than octocrylene. Diethylhexyl naphthalate is also thought to help stabilize avobenzone. However, how much these inactive ingredients help improve active ingredients warrants more research.

Additionally, antioxidants added to sunscreens help boost the efficacy of the active ingredients while also helping skin defend itself against sun damage.

Clinics in Dermatology, November-December 2008, pages 614–626
Photochemistry and Photobiology, July-August 2006, pages 1016–1023

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