Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid, an acid found naturally in foods such as cranberries, apricots, mushrooms and honey. It is used as a preservative in both cosmetics and food, where it prevents both bacterial and fungal growth, although it is more active against the latter. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated it a "generally recognized as safe" ingredient.
The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel has determined that sodium benzoate is safe as used in cosmetics, where maximum use levels range from 0.5-1%. In its crude form, sodium benzoate is a white, crystalline solid that dissolves in water.