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What is phenoxyethanol | Taylor Made Organics

What is phenoxyethanol?

What is Phenoxyethanol?

Phenoxyethanol is a widely used preservative in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other personal care products. It is a colorless, oily liquid with a faint floral odor. Phenoxyethanol can be derived from natural sources, such as green tea and chicory, or it can be made synthetically.

When phenoxyethanol is labeled as "plant-derived," it means that it has been extracted from a natural source. However, it is important to note that just because a substance is derived from a plant does not necessarily make it safer or more effective. Natural substances can still cause adverse reactions in some people.

On the other hand, when phenoxyethanol is labeled as "natural identical," it means that it has been synthesized in a laboratory to have the same chemical structure as the naturally occurring compound. This is often done to ensure consistency in quality and efficacy. Natural identical substances are not necessarily synthetic, as they can be made using natural starting materials. 

Knowing some plant derived sources can be unstable, we prefer to use "natural plant identical" phenoxyethanol. 

What are the Benefits of Using Phenoxyethanol in Cosmetics?

  • Antimicrobial Activity
    Phenoxyethanol is an antimicrobial agent that can be used to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeast when added to cosmetics. This means that it helps to keep your products free from contamination while they are being used or stored.
  • Low Toxicity
    Phenoxyethanol has low toxicity when ingested or applied topically on skin (the latter being the case with most cosmetic products). In fact, studies have shown that there are no adverse effects even when using high concentrations of this preservative in both animal models and humans over extended periods of time.* Low Allergenicity
    Phenoxyethanol does not cause allergies in people who are sensitive to other ingredients commonly found in cosmetics such as parabens or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.* Low Odor

How is Phenoxyethanol Used to Preserve Cosmetics?

Phenoxyethanol is used in the formulation of cosmetics to preserve products. It can be used at low concentrations, typically less than 1%, and acts as an antimicrobial preservative that prevents microbial growth.

In addition to its antimicrobial properties, phenoxyethanol also acts as a stabilizer for the product's color and texture. It helps prevent discoloration by absorbing UV light and protects against oxidation (which causes rancidity) by acting as an antioxidant.

Here at Taylor Made Organics, we use .3-.5% of phenoxyethanol in our products which is just the right amount to stabilize the formulation and prevent antimicrobal growth. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, phenoxyethanol can be derived from natural sources or made to be chemically identical to the natural compound. Phenoxyethanol is considered a safer alternative to parabens as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. It is important to understand the source and labeling of phenoxyethanol in products to make informed decisions about its use.