Jul. 13, 2022
Although it is most widely known as benzyl alcohol, aromatic alcohols are also known by a number of other names, such as benzyl alcohol or benzyl alcohol. It comes from fruit and is in the form of a colorless liquid with a slightly sweet taste. As a versatile ingredient, you can find benzyl alcohol on the ingredient labels of much different skincare, cosmetic and personal products such as moisturizers, lip balms, face washes, and even make-up.
In cosmetics and skincare products, benzyl alcohol is used as a fragrance ingredient, preservative, solvent, and viscosity-reducing agent. Most of these functions help to improve the feel and smell of the formulation with little benefit or change to the skin condition. While this may make benzyl alcohol seem like an unimportant part of a formulation, it is actually very important to the way a product lasts and feels.
Benzyl alcohol can be used as a fragrance ingredient when used in high concentrations. As it is part of the perfume composition of essential oils such as jasmine, hyacinth, neroli, rose and ylang-ylang, pure benzyl alcohol gives the product a floral-like fragrance. However, as the product ages, the fragrance gradually changes to a fruity and then to an almond scent. The scent of a product is an important part of the product and I am sure we have all used a product that is not quite the right scent and is unpleasant to use.
Benzyl alcohol is also used as a preservative in cosmetics and skincare products. Benzyl alcohol helps to prevent the growth of bacteria which can become contaminated through the air or as a result of use. The use of preservatives is necessary to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds, particularly because cosmetics have a high potential for contamination. The most susceptible products are creams and lotions that are packaged in jars, frequently opened, and applied to the skin with the fingers. In addition, the ingredients used in cosmetic formulations, such as water, oils, peptides, and carbohydrates, combined with warm storage temperatures, create the perfect environment for microbial growth. Microbial contamination can lead to serious health problems, from skin irritation to infection.
As an antibacterial preservative, benzyl alcohol works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria but does not necessarily kill them. This is in contrast to fungicides, which kill bacteria. As benzyl alcohol does not kill bacteria, it is often used in combination with other preservatives in cosmetic formulations.
Benzyl alcohol is also used as a solvent in cosmetics and skincare products. The solvent helps other ingredients dissolve. Solvents can be used to dilute formulations and make products easier to apply. This is why benzyl alcohol can also be classified as a viscosity-reducing agent or as an ingredient in dilution formulations. Finally, solvents can enhance the efficacy of the active ingredients in a formulation by enhancing skin absorption.
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