Benzyl alcohol is derived from Benzel chloride. It's a preservative. Many people are unnecessarily frightened of preservatives. They are very necessary to prevent bacterial or fungal infections which can cause serious issues, particularly in those with broken skin. We use our preservative in concentrations less than 0.4% which is both very safe and very effective. Benzyl alcohol is completely biodegradable and is naturally occurring in many fruits and plants such as jasmine and ylang ylang. Whilst high concentrations of benzyl alcohol can cause irritation, we use less than 0.4% in our bars.