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Data: Fair

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 (high), Endocrine disruption (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
● SALICYLIC ACID

Restricted - Unaccpetable

The score of this ingredient can vary from Restricted to Unacceptable based on the method of product consumption. For instance, when used in aerosol-based products, this ingredient may pose a risk to respiratory health, leading to a higher score

Click here for more information about ingredient scores


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
  • HIGH
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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shampoo185 products
facial cleanser152 products
exfoliant/scrub100 products
facial moisturizer/treatment99 products
mask83 products
serums & essences75 products
toners/astringents43 products
conditioner40 products
body wash/cleanser34 products
hair treatment/serum28 products
foundation27 products
hair color and bleaching23 products
concealer23 products
BB cream17 products
moisturizer16 products
bar soap14 products
antiperspirant/deodorant14 products
foot moisturizer9 products
foot cleansing9 products
foot odor control9 products
body powder9 products
makeup primer8 products
makeup remover7 products
bronzer/highlighter6 products
recreational sunscreen5 products
after shave5 products
pore strips4 products
CC cream4 products
facial powder4 products
facial cleansing wipes4 products
4 products
daily use with SPF4 products
lip balm4 products
around-eye cream4 products
anti-aging4 products
damaged skin treatment4 products
shaving cream4 products
hair styling aide3 products
hand cream2 products
beard oil2 products
body firming lotion2 products
makeup removing wipes2 products
beard care1 products
eye makeup remover1 products
hair relaxer1 products
liquid hand soap1 products
hair spray1 products
body spray1 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
styling gel/lotion1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
baby wipes1 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)1 products
lip balm with SPF1 products
fragrance for women1 products
baby shampoo1 products
lip gloss1 products
detangler1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Penetration enhancerCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyOpen scientific literature
Violation of government restrictions - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyOpen scientific literature
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
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
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Endocrine disruption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Possible human any disruptorOpen scientific literature

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin irritationOpen scientific literature
One or more animal studies show any irritation at low dosesOpen scientific literature
any irritation - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedOpen 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

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
any or allergies - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedOpen scientific literature

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – scientific review cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gapsOpen scientific literature
Mutagen - limited evidenceOpen scientific literature
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansOpen scientific literature

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - anyOpen scientific literature
32066 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyOpen scientific literature
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • 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.
  • 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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