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Data: Good

Salicylic Acid

  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Enhanced skin absorption, Use restrictions (moderate), Multiple, additive exposure sources (low), and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (moderate)

SYNONYMS

2-HYDROXY- BENZOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, BENZOIC ACID, 2-HYDROXY-, BENZOIC ACID, 2HYDROXY, O-CARBOXYPHENOL, O-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, PHENOL-2-CARBOXYLIC ACID, and SALICYLIC ACID

Salicylic acid is a naturally occuring and synthetically produced beta hydroxy acid used in skin treatment products.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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facial cleanser159 products
shampoo121 products
mask106 products
facial moisturizer/treatment103 products
exfoliant/scrub93 products
serums & essences67 products
toners/astringents47 products
body wash/cleanser37 products
conditioner25 products
foundation23 products
moisturizer22 products
hair treatment/serum20 products
concealer17 products
foot moisturizer15 products
BB cream13 products
foot cleansing12 products
facial powder11 products
bar soap10 products
body powder10 products
after shave9 products
around-eye cream8 products
8 products
daily use with SPF8 products
makeup remover8 products
foot odor control8 products
antiperspirant/deodorant7 products
bronzer/highlighter7 products
recreational sunscreen6 products
styling gel/lotion6 products
liquid hand soap6 products
makeup primer6 products
hair color and bleaching6 products
hair styling aide5 products
body firming lotion5 products
oil controller5 products
anti-aging5 products
lip balm4 products
hand cream3 products
shaving cream2 products
damaged skin treatment2 products
brow liner2 products
beard care2 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
after sun product1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
pore strips1 products
fragrance for men1 products
eye makeup remover1 products
lip balm with SPF1 products
beard oil1 products
sunless tanning1 products
beard cleanser1 products
body spray1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Penetration enhancerCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyCosIng
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin irritationOpen scientific literature

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Used in food or as an additive with limited or no toxicity information availableFDA Everything Added to Food
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansOpen scientific literature

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
32066 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • 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/ .
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • 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.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

Understanding scores

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

Hazard score

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.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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