Benzyl salicylate (inci)

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Benzyl 2-hydroxybenzoates; CAS number: 118-58-1

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INCI designation: Benzyl Salicylate. Use in medicine and in cosmetics; here mainly in perfumes; furthermore together with phenyl salicylate, octyl salicylate, homosalates, 3-(4-methylbenzylidene) camphor, and 3-benzylidene camphor as UV filter (UVB range).

Benzyl salicylate is a natural component in essential oils, e.g. garden carnation.

Undesirable effects
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Due to its allergological relevance, benzyl salicylate is one of the 26 fragrances within the EU that have had to be declared separately on the packaging of cosmetic products since 2004. Furthermore, besides benzyl cinnamate belong to this group: Amyl cinnamal, Anise alcohol, Amyl cinnamyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl alcohol, Bezyl salicylate, Citronellol, Cinnamyl alcohol, Farnesol, Cinnamal, Hexyl cinnamal, Citral butylphenyl methylpropional, Coumarin, Limonene, Eugenol, Linalool, Geraniol, Methyl 2-octynoate, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehydes, Evernia prunastri extract, Isoeugenol and Evernia furfuracea extract

Type IV sensitizations of the contact allergic eczema type are described. To clarify a suspected contact allergy, this substance can be routinely tested in an epicutaneous test by allergists (DKG epicutaneous test series"Duftstoffe weitere (Epicutantestreihe)".

Benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate and butylphenylmethylpropional (Lilial) have estrogenic properties. This could play a role in the case of large-area and long-term application.

Trade names
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Heliopan; Lilial

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  1. Alagappan U et al (2013) Pigmented contact dermatitis secondary to benzyl salicylate. Acta Derm Venereol 93:590
  2. Charles AK et al (2009) Estrogenic activity of benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate and butylphenylmethylpropional (Lilial) in MCF7 human breast cancer cells in vitro. J Appl Toxicol 29:422-434
  3. Jiménez-Díaz I et al (2013) Simultaneous determination of the UV-filters benzyl salicylate, phenyl salicylate, octyl salicylate, homosalate, 3-(4-methylbenzylidene) camphor and 3-benzylidene camphor in human placental tissue by LC-MS/MS. Assessment of their in vitro endocrine activity. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 936:80-87
  4. Werbrouck J et al (2015) C12-15 alkyl benzoate: a new cosmetic allergen? Contact dermatitis. doi: 10.1111/cod.1241

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020