Benzoic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in plants and can be synthetically produced as well; it is used in food and cosmetics as a preservative.
It is to note that benzoic acid is limited in amount added to cosmetic as preservatives by many international governing body.
In the European Union a maximum concentration of 1%. Benzoic Acid and its salts and esters are also permitted for use as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products at a maximum concentration of 2.5% in rinse-off products (except oral care products), while for oral care product is 1.7% and 0.5% in leave on products
Asean Cosmetic Directives (which HSA uses) follows similar limitation as well.