What Is Benzyl Alcohol? The Best 10 Powerful Facts!

What is benzyl alcohol? Many medicines and cosmetic products contain Benzyl alcohol as a fragrance and flavoring. Alcohol serves as a preservative for injection solutions and cosmetics as a disinfectant.

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What is benzyl alcohol? – Cosmetics and aroma additive

Cosmetics and aroma additive
What is benzyl alcohol? – Cosmetics and aroma additive / Image by monicore from Pixabay

Benzyl alcohol is a colorless, oily liquid that occurs as a component of many essential oils. Such as ylang-ylang, jasmine, and gold varnish.

In contrast to the smell of ethanol, benzyl has a mild, almond-like odor. Which is hardly surprising when you know we can get it from plants.

It’s a lengthy and expensive process. Production of it is almost synthetically.

It’s in cosmetics as a disinfectant, solvent, and preservative. It’s also an aroma additive in fruit flavors, beverages, cough sweets, and juices. 

It preserves well and smells delicious. Its found in creams, lotions, shampoo, and shower gel.

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Effects of benzyl alcohol

Effects of benzyl alcohol
What is benzyl alcohol? – Effects of benzyl alcohol / Image by xbqs42 from Pixabay

Cosmetic products often contain benzyl alcohol. Get here the ten facts:

  1. The fragrance can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  2. Then your skin reddens after external use of products containing benzyl.
  3. Besides, in the case of an allergic reaction, your skin will flake, and you will have to deal with itching.
  4. Allergic rhinitis, coughing, and respiratory tract irritation may show. It’s an allergy to benzyl.
  5. By allergic reaction to benzyl alcohol, itching in the mouth or nose may happen. These are some results from contact with the flavoring.
  6. If you have acute symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately. Your doctor will then give you an antiallergic agent.
  7. In general, hypersensitivity to benzyl is rare. Besides, the aromatic substance is one of the bad alcohols.
  8. It extracts moisture from the skin. The skin dries out faster.
  9. Benzyl also irritates the skin.
  10. If possible, avoid the substance. It can be bad for your health in larger quantities. 

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Where is benzyl alcohol contained?

Where is benzyl alcohol contained
What is benzyl alcohol? – Where is benzyl alcohol contained? / Image by Bruno Germany from Pixabay

Benzyl alcohol is synthetic and natural contains many essential oils.

  • It is why benzyl is sometimes getting used in natural cosmetics. The products can be getting declared as natural products despite the ingredient.
  • Benzyl alcohol is in cosmetics as well. In skincare or sun creams, perfume, hairspray, hair dyes, or shower gel.
  • Medicines contain benzyl alcohol. Found in cough drops, medicinal creams, nasal, or throat sprays.
  • Flavored drinks, cocktails, or liqueurs may also contain the flavoring substance.
  • Sweets such as cakes, chocolate, or biscuits may also contain benzyl.
  • Among the ingredients, you will find benzyl, also as phenyl methanol or under E 1519. 

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How to recognize cosmetics with benzyl alcohol?

Most chemical substances have different names. Benzyl alcohol is no exception. In the following list, you will find similar names:

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Phenylmethanol
  • Phenylcarbinol

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How does benzyl alcohol work?

How does benzyl alcohol work
What is benzyl alcohol? – How does benzyl alcohol work? / Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Benzyl alcohol (C7H7-OH) is alcohol. The difference to ethanol, it consists of more carbon atoms. And it has more lipophilic properties as well. But, like ethanol, it also has a hydroxyl group (OH), mixing with water.

Like most alcohols, benzyl alcohol has a disinfecting and preserving effect. It’s added to many cosmetics in low concentrations.

The disinfecting effect is getting based on the fact that it can kill bacteria. Because it supports the inhibition of bacterial proliferation – like ethanol.

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Where does benzyl alcohol is getting used?

Where does benzyl alcohol is getting used
What is benzyl alcohol? – Where does benzyl alcohol is getting used? / Image by monicore from Pixabay

Benzyl alcohol has very different properties and a wide range of applications. It is a fragrance, flavor, and preservative, making it indispensable in cosmetics.

Benzyl is also getting used as a solvent for, for example, paints and inks. One of the best-known applications here is permanent markers.

We can find Benzyl in food, usually under benzyl benzoate or E1519. It has the largest values of 100mg per liter for liquid and 250g per kilogram for solid foods.

Because of its pungent taste, benzyl alcohol is used as a flavor. Usages are in liqueurs, chocolate, and biscuits. In the textile industry, it has its place in the coloring and nuance of fabrics.

It used to dye wool. But other chemicals are now getting used because of the increased cost of benzyl alcohol.

Benzyl alcohol has a further field of application in the printing industry. Here is especially an accelerator for the development of photos. But, due to digital photography, this is used less and less.

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Is alcohol bad in cosmetics?

Is alcohol bad in cosmetics
What is benzyl alcohol? – Is alcohol bad in cosmetics? / Image by Rommel Diaz from Pixabay

We cannot answer this question with yes or no. It’s essential to know the different types of alcohol in cosmetic products.

Roughly speaking, these are getting classified into suitable alcohols and bad alcohols. Good and bad, in this case, means how they affect the skin.

If the alcohols are harmful or even cause allergies, it’s classified as bad. Suitable alcohols have to nurture properties such as a refatting effect.

If a product is without alcohol or alcohol-free, this does not mean there is no alcohol at all.

It means that none of the bad alcohols is on the ingredients list. The amount of alcohol added decreases further down the list of ingredients. It can be both valuable and misleading for the consumer.

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Benzyl alcohol can cause allergic reactions in some people. It results in rough, reddened, scaly skin with itching. 

If you get contact with the allergen, blisters, nodules, and painful skin cracks may appear.

The allergenic potential of benzyl alcohol is shallow. We can use cosmetic products containing this ingredient without significant concerns.

Those who are sensitive to preservatives should be careful and test the product. First, try on a small wrist or forearm beforehand.


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Last Updated on 24/03/2022 by Buzz This Viral