Is Benzoic Acid Safe?

Sep. 13, 2021

Benzyl alcohol is an organic alcohol found in many fruits and teas. Benzyl alcohol has a hydroxyl group (-OH), while the related compound benzoic acid has a carboxyl group (-COOH). Sodium benzoate, calcium benzoate, and potassium benzoate are salts of benzoic acid. Benzyl benzoate is an ester of benzyl alcohol and benzoic acid.


Benzyl alcohol, benzoic acid, and its salts and benzyl benzoate are used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products, including baby products, bath products, soaps and cleansers, eye make-up, blushes, cleaning products, make-up products, and, for example, hair, nail, and skincare products.

Benzyl Alcohol

Benzyl Alcohol

Why use benzoic acid products in cosmetic and personal care products?

These ingredients have been reported to have the following functions.


Corrosion inhibitor - sodium benzoate

Flavoring ingredients- Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Benzoate

pH Adjuster - Benzoic Acid

Preservatives- Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Benzoate, Potassium Benzoate

Solvent - Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate

Viscosity Reducer - Benzyl Alcohol

Click on this link to find out more about benzoic acid in hair products and benzoic acid in cosmetics.

Benzoic Acid

 Benzoic Acid

Is Benzoic Acid Harmful?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed benzoic acid and sodium benzoate on its Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) list of direct food substances. Benzyl alcohol and benzyl benzoate are also approved for use as synthetic flavoring agents for direct addition to food. Benzyl alcohol is approved as an anesthetic ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) anorectal, oral health, and topical analgesic products.


The safety of benzyl alcohol, benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, calcium benzoate, potassium benzoate, and benzyl benzoate has been assessed by a Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel.


The CIR Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that these ingredients are safe for use in cosmetics. The safety of benzyl alcohol and benzyl benzoate has been evaluated by the Expert Panel of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (REXPAN).

Benzyl Benzoate

Benzyl Benzoate  

CIR Safety Review.

The CIR Panel noted that no adverse effects of benzyl alcohol were found in chronic oral exposure studies. The effects of benzoic acid and sodium benzoate in chronic oral exposure studies were limited to reduced feed intake and reduced growth. The doses used in the CIR Panel were not concerned about potential reproductive and developmental effects.


For the doses used in benzoic acid in hair products and benzoic acid in cosmetics.

Benzyl alcohol may be used as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in the EU at a maximum concentration of 1%. Benzoic acid and its salts and esters are also permitted as preservatives in cosmetic and personal care products at a maximum concentration (expressed as acid) of 2.5% in douche products (except oral care products), 1.7% in oral care, and 0.5% in product left. Benzyl alcohol and benzyl benzoate are also listed in Annex III of the EU Cosmetics Directive. 



When benzyl alcohol or benzyl benzoate is used as a flavoring ingredient, Annex III requires the labeling of products with these flavoring ingredients at greater than 0.001% in leave-on products and greater than 0.01% in rinse-off products. The sum of benzoic acid, potassium, and sodium benzoate has been established at an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0-5 mg/kg in the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.


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At LANDMARK, ou benzyl benzoate is also used in daily chemical flavors such as jasmine, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, gardenia, tuberose, and lilac

LANDMARK specializes in the research, development, production, and sales of benzyl series,  flavors and fragrances, fine chemicals, and food additives. The company's main products are benzyl acetate, benzylacetone, benzyl alcohol, benzoic acid, benzyl benzoate, and so on. 

Let us help you find the best benzyl alcohol formula. When you contact us, please provide your detailed requirements. That will help us give you a valid quotation.

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