Skincare Ingredients: Benzoic Acid

What is benzoic acid?

Used for: Preservation booster to help with the growth of molds and yeasts

How it works:  Benzoic acid is a food-grade preservative used since 1875 when it’s antifungal abilities were discovered. Its preservation isn’t as strong against bacteria.  Benzoic acid is used in low concentrations from .05% to .1%. It is considered low sensitizing but may cause an allergic reaction in some. Today. an inactive salt of benzoic acid — sodium benzoate —is more commonly used.

Where does benzoic acid come from?

Although benzoic acid occurs naturally in many plants, its name comes from gum benzoin, which was for a long time its only known source.

Examples of products that use benzoic acid

Acidic food and beverage like fruit juice, soft drinks, and pickles are preserved with benzoic acid and benzoates.

  • Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, 4th Edition
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