The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 128-37-0
Chem/IUPAC Name: 2,6-ditert-butyl-4-methylphenol
EINECS/ELINCS No: 204-881-4
COSING REF No: 32185
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a phenol-derivative with antioxidant properties. It is a common synthetic compound that is used as a preservative in cosmetic formulations to stabilize the formulation and prevent its oxidation. It maintains the properties of a formulation like color, odor, and texture, which may change upon exposure to air.

What is BHT used for?

BHT is mainly used as an antioxidant to prevent the spoilage of cosmetic formulations, particularly those that contain oil or fats in a water base. It is used in various cosmetic products that are aqueous in nature and contain active ingredients or plant extracts. It resists high temperatures and stabilizes the raw materials themselves and is also used in the manufacturing process of raw materials. It is often used at concentrations ranging from 0.0001% to 0.5%.
  • Skin care: Butylated hydroxytoluene enhances the shelf-life of skin care products by preventing oxidation. It also functions as a synthetic analog of vitamin E. Similar to vitamin E, BHT prevents autoxidation, where the unsaturated organic compounds in a cosmetic formulation may be attacked by oxygen changing their color, texture, or efficacy


It is produced by the reaction of p-cresol with isobutylene and sulfuric acid.

What does BHT do in a formulation?

  • Antioxidant
  • Masking

Safety Profile of BHT

BHT has been considered as safe for use in cosmetics by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) board.

BHT Alternatives

BHT Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 265°C
Melting Point 69-71°C
Solubility Insoluble in water
Soluble in toluene, methanol, isopropanol, methyl ethyl ketone, acetone

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely BHT

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