Benzalkonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium compound that functions as an antimicrobial agent, surfactant and preservative. It can be found in skincare products like hand sanitizers and disinfectants to help kill bacteria and germs. It may also appear in some cosmetic and personal care products as a preservative and surfactant to maintain product stability and improve texture and consistency. Its use in leave-on skincare products has caused concern because of the potential for skin irritation.


Benzalkonium Chloride


Benzalkonium chloride is a synthetic compound, meaning it's not naturally derived from a specific plant or source. It's created through a chemical process that generally involves the reaction between benzyl chloride and quaternary ammonium compounds.


Benzalkonium chloride can cause skin irritation, so it should be used cautiously in skincare products.


Controls Germs and Infection

In products like hand sanitizers and disinfectants, benzalkonium chloride can help reduce the spread of germs and risk of infection.

Preserves Product

It acts as a preservative in skincare formulas to extend the shelf life of products and prevent the growth of mold, yeast and bacteria.