Potassium benzoate is a white, odorless powder that’s obtained by combining benzoic acid and potassium salt under heat.
Benzoic acid is a compound naturally found in plants, animals, and fermented products. Originally derived from the benzoin resin of certain tree species, it’s now mostly industrially produced.
Potassium salts are typically extracted from salt beds or certain minerals.
Potassium benzoate is used as a preservative, as it prevents the growth of bacteria, yeast, and particularly mold. As such, it’s often added to food, beauty, and skin care products to extend their shelf life.
A few beauty and skin care items that may harbor this ingredient are shampoos, conditioners, facial cleansers, and moisturizers.