Definition: Geraniol is clear to pale-yellow oil with a rose-like odor. It is a naturally occurring fragrance compound found in oil-of-rose, citronella oil, and in the essential oils of geranium and lemon, but it can also be produced synthetically.
Uses in Cosmetics: Geraniol is used as a fragrance ingredient in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products. These include aftershave lotions, bath products, bubble baths, hair products, lipsticks, moisturizers, perfumes and colognes, skin care products, and suntan products.
Other Names: Geraniol may also be known as trans-Geraniol, Guaniol, Lemonol, trans-3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol, Geraniol alcohol, Geraniol extra, Geranyl alcohol, 2,6-Dimethyl-trans-2,6-octadien-8-ol, 2,6-Octadien-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl-, trans-, 3,7-Dimethyl-trans-2,6-octadien-1-ol, (E)-3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol, and Meranol.
Skin Sensitivities and Other Risks: Geraniol is considered generally safe and is included on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of flavoring substances that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). However, Geraniol can potentially cause sensitization, so the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) restricts its use in fragrances. This restriction applies particularly to leave-on skin products and products that are rinsed off the skin. The European Cosmetics Regulation requires manufacturers to indicate the presence of Geraniol in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds 0.001% in leave-on-the-skin products and 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin.
EU 26 List: Geraniol is included on the EU 26 list of "allergenic" substances because it has the potential to cause skin sensitization. The European Cosmetics Regulation requires manufacturers to indicate the presence of certain "allergenic" substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product.