- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.
- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
- Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
Other ConcernsUse restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), and Occupational hazards (high)
SYNONYMSA-TOLUENOL, BENZENEMETHANOL, BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZYLIC ALCOHOL, PHENYLCARBINOL, PHENYLMETHANOL, and PHENYLMETHYL ALCOHOL
Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation
Benzyl alcohol is a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
HIGHAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|hair treatment/serum||273 products|
|body wash/cleanser||260 products|
|facial moisturizer/treatment||188 products|
|fragrance for women||161 products|
|liquid hand soap||133 products|
|recreational sunscreen||115 products|
|hair styling aide||108 products|
|facial cleanser||106 products|
|lip gloss||100 products|
|serums & essences||93 products|
|hair color and bleaching||61 products|
|hand cream||56 products|
|daily use with SPF||56 products|
|around-eye cream||54 products|
|styling gel/lotion||52 products|
|hair spray||44 products|
|lip balm||41 products|
|fragrance for men||38 products|
|lip balm with SPF||35 products|
|body spray||34 products|
|body firming lotion||31 products|
|antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)||28 products|
|eye shadow||28 products|
|after sun product||25 products|
|bubble bath||24 products|
|baby lotion||23 products|
|bar soap||22 products|
|sunless tanning||22 products|
|after shave||20 products|
|BB cream||20 products|
|setting powder/spray||20 products|
|makeup primer||19 products|
|bath oil/salts/soak||18 products|
|styling mousse/foam||18 products|
|makeup remover||18 products|
|eye liner||17 products|
|shaving cream||15 products|
|hand sanitizer||13 products|
|lip plumper||11 products|
|body oil||11 products|
|baby sunscreen||11 products|
|facial powder||10 products|
|hair-loss treatment||10 products|
|baby shampoo||9 products|
|baby wipes||6 products|
|baby soap||6 products|
|baby toothpaste||6 products|
|beard care||6 products|
|eye makeup remover||5 products|
|lip liner||5 products|
|foot moisturizer||4 products|
|nail treatment||4 products|
|skin fading/lightener||4 products|
|cuticle treatment||3 products|
|shaving cream (men's)||3 products|
|baby oil||3 products|
|tanning oil||2 products|
|baby bubble bath||2 products|
|beard cleanser||2 products|
|beard oil||2 products|
|muscle/joint soreness||1 products|
|tooth whitening||1 products|
|other eye makeup||1 products|
|foot cleansing||1 products|
|eyelash glue||1 products|
|damaged skin treatment||1 products|
|hair removal waxes||1 products|
|Known human any toxicant or allergen||Open scientific literature|
|Human any toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||Open scientific literature|
|One or more human case studies show possible allergenic or allergenic effects||EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature|
|Associated with immunotoxicity or allergies||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Recommended restricted in cosmetics - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Fragrance subject to restrictions: safe only within recommended use or concentration limitsn)||International Fragrance Association Codes & Standards|
|Restricted in cosmetics - labeling requirement for allergens||CosIng|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as medium human health priority||Open scientific literature|
|Classified as toxic or harmful||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||Open scientific literature|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Open scientific literature|
|Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in product||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|5667 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Open scientific literature|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Open scientific literature|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
- Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
- EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
- IFRA (International Fragrance Association). 2006. Codes and Standards.
- European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.