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Benzyl Salicylate warning

Benzyl Salicylate and Pregnancy

Throughout our lives, and during pregnancy especially, it’s crucial that we take care of our bodies (both inside and out) in the best way possible. This is so much more than eating well and exercising, but also concerns the products and ingredients that we put on our skin. For many women, paying close attention to what they put in their bodies intensifies when they become pregnant or start trying to conceive.

Here, we’ll explore benzyl salicylate, looking into what it is and its purpose within skincare. We’ll talk about whether you should be concerned when using it during pregnancy as well!


What is Benzyl Salicylate?

Used widely in the cosmetic and soap industry, benzyl salicylate is used as a fragrance additive or a UV light absorber. Also known as salicylic acid benzyl ester, it appears as a colourless liquid with a light, floral smell. In short, benzyl salicylate is used to improve the scent in many products, and if you take a look at the ingredients of the products in your bathroom cabinet right now, you’re very likely to come across benzyl salicylate.


What does Benzyl Salicylate do in Skincare?

The purpose behind benzyl salicylate in most skin care products is to improve the initial scent. Benzyl Salicylate is volatile, which means when exposed to air, the fragrance fades. You might find your foundations, face creams, or soaps have a light floral scent upon opening. If you check the back and see benzyl salicylate, then you’ve got your answer regarding where the fragrance is coming from!

You’ll find benzyl salicylate in sunscreens and other lotions that contain SPF as well, as the chemical can also act as a UV light absorber, protecting your skin from the sun. Benzyl Salicylate is naturally found in cloves, and it’s able to be isolated from essential oils.

Benzyl Salicylate is a beneficial ingredient from many perspectives, but when it comes to pregnancy, there’s nothing wrong with raising questions about common skincare ingredients and paying closer attention to what we’re using regularly, even if it is topically.

 safe pregnancy skincare

Benzyl Salicylate During Pregnancy

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid benzyl salicylate, as it has an acute but present potential for oral and dermal toxicity. While topical application should not pose much of a threat to a developing fetus, it’s best to sidestep benzyl salicylate as a whole throughout the duration of your pregnancy. If the ingredient is present (in one of its many forms) in your skincare or beauty routine, consider switching it up while you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or pumping. As long as we’re on the topic, benzyl benzoate pregnancy should also be avoided, as it has the potential to cause neurotoxicity.

The transition to a different line of skincare is easier when you make the switch when you’re actively trying to conceive. Of course, if your pregnancy is a surprise, you’ll want to ensure that you choose milder ingredients the first chance you get.

There are plenty of “clean” and fragrance-free products available on the market today. The industry has come a long way in very recent years when making these options available. Since benzyl salicylate pregnancy is a combination that needs a bit more investigation on behalf of those who campaign for women's health, if you can make the decision to use fewer ingredients, why not do so?

Feeling overwhelmed regarding switching skincare routines is expected. After all, there are plenty of major changes coming your way, and making additional changes to a process you’ve been doing for years can feel discombobulating. Try one product at a time, and always seek the advice of other moms, because they’ll be more than happy to advise on what they use.


Frequently Asked Questions

The number of questions surrounding the chemicals we can safely use without negative effects in the long or short-term is staggering, though not surprising. There are those with a benzyl salicylate allergy trying desperately to find what will work as an alternative. There are also women trying to conceive and wondering, is glycerin in skincare safe during pregnancy?

The internet is alive with hundreds of thousands of inquiries, not all of them necessarily pregnancy or benzyl salicylate-related. As the world changes and we have increased access to the information surrounding skincare ingredients, it’s only natural that we’ll ask more questions.


Should You Use Benzyl Salicylate During Pregnancy?

The consensus is no, you should not use benzyl salicylate during pregnancy. There is an acute but possible chance for toxicity, and overall, you’ll want to stay away from it if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.

There are skincare options available that do not contain benzyl salicylate, so before you stress out about changing your routine (the last thing you need is more stress!), look at the situation as a way to explore new skincare. You never know what you’ll find!

Many soaps and skincare products are enhanced naturally, or, even better, not at all. The good news is, switching to products with fewer chemicals is likely to mean less skin irritation and inflammation. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll be thrilled that you made the necessary changes early on. It’s a journey that’s all about finding what will work best for you.


Is Benzyl Salicylate the Same as Salicylic Acid?

Benzyl salicylate is a salt, also known as an ester, of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid, so when speaking technically, they are not the same. Though benzyl salicylate is often hailed for its ability to protect skin from the sun and fragrance products, it’s not recommended for use during pregnancy, and for that matter, some doctors ask their pregnant patients to stay away from salicylic components as a whole.

Every doctor is different, just as no patient's situation is the same. In many cases, doctors will offer varying recommendations based on the knowledge they have, and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do. When it comes to skincare, your best bet during pregnancy is to stick to as few ingredients as possible.