Sodium Benzoate



No known benefits

Sodium Benzoate at a glance

  • Salt of benzoic acid, which is found naturally in foods like cranberries
  • Used as a preservative in both cosmetics and food products
  • Deemed safe as used in cosmetics
  • Is a white, crystalline solid in its raw form

Sodium Benzoate description

Sodium benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid, an acid that is found naturally in foods like cranberries, apricots, mushrooms, and honey. It is used as a preservative in both cosmetics and food products, where it prevents both bacterial and fungal growth, though it is more active against the latter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated it a “generally recognised as safe” ingredient. The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has ruled sodium benzoate safe as used in cosmetics, where maximum usage levels range from 0.5–1%. In its raw form, sodium benzoate is a white, crystalline solid that dissolves in water.

Sodium Benzoate references

  • Current Perspectives on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 2018, Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 72 – 77
  • International Journal of Toxicology, November/December 2017, Volume 36, Supplement 3, pages 5S-30S
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration CFF – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.