Sodium Benzoate

About Sodium Benzoate

A salt formed by reacting sodium hydroxide (lye) with benzoic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in plants such as cranberries, apples, and plums, as well as animals. Sodium Benzoate is used as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold.

Common Concerns

Considered safe for use by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review board and approved by all natural cosmetic panels.

When used as a preservative in drinks that contain ascorbic acid (i.e. vitamin C) and is exposed to excessive heat, benzene, a known carcinogen, may form. As a result, some websites have erroneously concluded that any use of sodium benzoate is considered carcinogen. This is in NO way true. Even if a cosmetic product does contain both Sodium Benzoate and ascorbic acid, and is exposed to heat, the formula’s chemistry is completely different and would therefore not have the same results.

Quick Facts

Source: Derived from plants such as cranberries and apples.
EWG Score: 3