Benzyl Alcohol

What is it?

Benzyl alcohol is fragrance and flavour material that also has preservative qualities. It is both naturally occurring in plants and can be synthetically prepared. Preservatives are used in products to ensure they are both safe and effective throughout their use.  Tom's uses only natural preservatives in our products, so Tom's diligently selected benzyl alcohol derived from cassia (cinnamon) oil. Although the term “alcohol” is used in the name, it does not contain any ethanol, the volatile alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and mouthwash products, and may be present in products that are considered alcohol-free. In chemistry, the term alcohol is used more broadly to describe many organic compounds that share a common functional group, even though the materials themselves all behave very differently. These “alcohols” include aromatic alcohols, like benzyl alcohol, and fatty alcohols, like stearyl alcohol, that may be present in consumer products labeled as alcohol-free.

What does it do?

Benzyl Alcohol is a clear liquid that is used in Tom’s toothpaste products as a natural preservative. In addition to serving a natural preservation function in the product, it also enhances the flavour of the product.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Is this the right option for me?

Benzyl Alcohol is listed as a non-medicinal ingredient for the purpose of preservation by Health Canada.  With high use levels some people may experience irritation reactions, but at Tom’s we are mindful of this and formulate our products appropriately.