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Potassium Sorbate

Used with care
Potassium Sorbate

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a water-solube salt, usually appearing a crystalline white powder. We use this ingredient as a mild preservative in some of our products, keeping them stable and working at their best.

Potassium sorbate is a synthetic ingredient produced by reacting sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. Though this ingredient can be derived from natural sources, such as Rowan berries (Sorbus aucuparia), most of the world is supplied by more sustainable synthetic methods.

Potassium sorbate is known to have useful antimicrobial activity, particularly against yeast and mould, and it's used in many food and personal care products as a preservative. Potassium sorbate is Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) by the US FDA for use in food products. It was assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel in 1988 and again in 2006, who concluded it is “safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practices of use and concentration.” It has also been assessed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and found to be readily biodegradable.

Other names: C6H7O2K; L-Ascorbic Acid, Monopotassium Salt; 2,4-Hexadienoic Acid, Potassium Salt; Kalii Sorbas

Chemical class: Organic Salts


United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Food for Human Consumption: Potassium Sorbate. 21CFR182.3640

Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. (1988). 4: Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate. Journal of the American College of Toxicology, 7(6), 837–880.

Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel (2008). Annual review of cosmetic ingredient safety assessments: 2005/2006. International journal of toxicology, 27 Suppl 1, 77–142.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2022). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 23676745, Potassium sorbate.

European Chemicals Agency Committee for Risk Assessment. (2013). Background document to the Opinion proposing harmonised classification and labelling at EU level of potassium sorbate. CLH-O-0000002524-78-03/A1.

INCI Name:
Potassium Sorbate
Ingredient origins:
Synthetic, Potash
Common name:
Potassium Sorbate
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.