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Is Benzoic acid the same as Benzene?

04/11/2018 by Charlotte

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The preservative ingredient used in some of our formulations is benzoic acid. This is a naturally occurring compound found in many fruits including cherries, cranberries and raspberries. At the level used in cosmetics (or food), the benzoic acid and its salts are totally safe and has no adverse health implications.

Benzoic acid is not the same as Benzene. Benzene or Benzol is the aromatic ring-molecule that is at the base of thousands and thousands of organic molecules. This includes benzoic acid, all human steroids etc. etc. etc. Pure, isolated Benzene itself is a highly volatile and hazardous liquid. However, when Benzene is incorporated into more complex molecules it generally loses its reactivity and does not have the same harmful properties. Benzene forms part of many fragrance molecules including those found in many essential oils.

Therefore, whilst Benzoic acid contains benzene as part of its molecule, it does not have any of the adverse effects associated with this reactive gas.

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