Benzyl Salicylate

What Is It?

Benzyl Salicylate is a clear colorless liquid with a sweet floral aroma. In cosmetics and personal care products, Benzyl Salicylate is used in the formulation of bath products, bubble baths, cleansing products, hair care products, makeup, moisturizers, perfumes and colognes, shampoos, skin care products and suntan products.

Why Is It Used?

Benzyl Salicylate functions as a fragrance ingredient and as an ultraviolet light absorber.

Scientific Facts

Benzyl Salicylate, also called benzyl 2-hydroxybenzoate, is a synthetic fragrance compound. It is the ester of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Benzyl Salicylate as a flavoring agent for direct addition to food. The safety of Benzyl Salicylate has been evaluated by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN). Based on this evaluation, an International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Standard has been established. The IFRA Standard restricts the use of Benzyl Salicylate in fragrances because of potential sensitization.

Please see the IFRA Standards

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) defers review of individual fragrance ingredients to the IFRA program unless the ingredient has significant uses other than as a fragrance. In this case, the ingredient may be assessed by both the CIR Expert Panel and REXPAN.

See the FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Benzyl Salicylate

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that Benzyl Salicylate does not present a safety concern at current levels of intake when used as a flavoring agent. See the JECFA safety evaluation of Benzyl Salicylate

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of Benzyl Salicylate and determined that it is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use as a flavoring substance. In Europe, Benzyl Salicylate is included on the list of “allergenic” substances. The European Cosmetics Directive requires manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to indicate the presence of certain “allergenic” substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product (see Annex III). The presence of Benzyl Salicylate must be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds: 0.001% in leave-on the skin products 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation

More information about the safety of fragrances.