Butylphenyl Methylpropional in Beauty Products: What You Need to Know

Written by andy

Find out what the heck this long-winded ingredient really is…

One of the ingredients you’ll find on your average cosmetic is Butylphenyl Methylpropional. That is one heck of a long-winded name, but do you have any idea what it really is?

The Truth about Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Butylphenyl Methylpropional is also called p-tert-butyl-alpha-methylhydrocinnamic aldehyde, but you’ll often find it listed as either Lilial or lily aldehyde. All four of these names are used to indicate the presence of the same chemical, so keep an eye on your beauty product list of ingredients to see if it shows up in your products.

It is found in many skin care products, particularly skin lotions and moisturizing creams. Basically anything that you apply to your skin externally may contain lily aldehyde.

But what does it do? Simple: it replicates the beautiful smell of the flowers known as “lilies of the valley”.

READ MORE: Dangerous Chemicals in Shampoo

Making floral scents is not easy, as any cosmetic maker will tell you. You can’t simply extract the floral oils and use them in their natural form to make the floral scent, as the compounds just aren’t strong enough. If perfumes used only natural floral oils, they would be fairly weak. That’s why most “natural” perfumes rely on stronger natural scents: citrus, spices, vanilla, etc.

One of the hardest scents to replicate is lily of the valley. The unique combination of compounds in the floral oil makes it stand out from the rest, and it’s difficult for perfume makers to duplicate that unique blend of aromas. But that’s where lily aldehyde comes in.

Aldehydes are used for floral fragrances. In fact, they’re used for the majority of fragrances simply because they make it easier to replicate the scent. Lily aldehydes are used to replicate the aromas of the lily of the valley, hence their name. You’ll find that any of your beauty products with that ingredient listed will be beautiful-smelling, sweet, and rich.

But now we come to the big question: is it dangerous for your health?

According to Wikipedia, it is known to be a cause of contact dermatitis. This is basically a skin infection that sets in when your skin becomes irritated by an allergen, and a rash forms. It’s not too serious, but if left untreated, it can turn into something more complicated. After all, any sort of rash that infects your skin can penetrate the deeper layers of skin if it is allowed to grow.

Even if it doesn’t cause contact dermatitis, it can be an allergen or irritant to certain people. There are a number of cases of people proving allergic to the compounds in Lilial, making it a chemical you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

But, unless you’re showing serious signs of infection, you don’t have too much to worry about. You can enjoy the wonderful scent of your cosmetics without fearing for the health of your skin. If you notice any irritation, consider changing your beauty products. Otherwise, there is very little to be concerned about when your beauty products contain Lilial!

Note: The International Fragrance Association has restricted its use in perfumes due to the potential skin irritation.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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