Benzyl benzoate is both a synthetic and naturally occurring chemical used in today’s market as a fragrance ingredient / aroma compound, artificial flavor in food industry, cosmetic additive, preservative, and solvent. It is also used as a scabies or lice treatment. It is an ester of benzyl alcohol and benzoic acid.
It forms either a colorless oily liquid or solid flakes and has a weak, sweet-balsamic odor. It occurs naturally in a number of blossoms (e. g. tuberose, hyacinth). Benzyl Benzoate is a natural component of Balsam of Peru, Tolu balsam, and cinnamon essential oil.
It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system. It is also a repellent for chiggers, ticks, and mosquitoes. It is an effective, over the counter, and inexpensive topical treatment for human scabies. Lotions and creams for adult usage may contain up to 25% concentration of benzyl benzoate for treatment of human scabies. While concentrations are diluted to 10% – 12.5% for treatment in children.
Other uses of ultra pure benzyl benzoate include dye carrier and solvent for cellulose derivatives (helps other ingredients dissolve into a solution). It is also used as a plasticizer for polymers and cellulose. Benzyl benzoate finds application in fragrance industry. It is used in pre-fixing agent. While benzyl benzoate itself may not be listed an active fragrance ingredient. It improves the stability and odor characteristics of the main ingredients. A wide variety of personal care products contain this ingredient, including aftershave lotion, shampoo/conditioner, cleanser, perfume, moisturizer, anti-aging creams, suntan lotion and nail polish.
Today many high end and drug store brands use Benzyl Benzoate in their cosmetics and personal care formulations. Some brands include: The Body Shop, Origins, Weleda, Loccitane, Burts Bees, Burberry, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Urban Decay, Dr. Hauschka, Tarte Cosmetics, Sephora, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Factor, Olay Anti-Wrinkle Mature Skin Day Lotion, Revlon, Femme Couture, Bare Minerals, Stila, Jane, Buxom, Too Faced, Wet N Wild, Laura Gellar, Philosophy, Senna, and Sally Hansen.