2D structural formula of farnesol


What is it?

“Farnesol with the chemical formula C15H26O is a natural 15-carbon organic compound which is an acyclic sesquiterpene alcohol.” – Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) list farnesol as a substance causing allergies.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies farnesol as a substance that is

“very toxic to aquatic life, causes serious eye irritation, causes skin irritation and may cause an allergic skin reaction.’

Farnesol is reported as an allergen in CosIng, the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.

How is it used?

Farnesol can be found in natural pesticides and as a flavoring ingredient in cigarettes.

In cosmetics* it is found in products such as:

  • sweet floral perfumes
  • essential oils
  • anti-aging skin care
  • antiperspirants
  • deodorants
  • shower creams and other similar toiletries.

In these different type of cosmetics, it mainly acts deodorizing (to eliminate or prevent odor), anti-microbial (to control the growth of micro-organisms on the skin) and anti-aging.

The anti-microbial properties prevent odor by actively working against microbes on the body that normally are causing odor. Farnesol is not only used to hide the smell, it can also be used to enhance the scent in certain products.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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