A popular preservative and safe cosmetics ingredient when used as per the cosmetic grade concentration of up to 1 %. It is used in personal care products to prolong the shelf-life of the products. 


WHAT IS PHENOXYETHANOL: Phenoxyethanol is ether alcohol that is naturally derived from Green Tea but is synthesized in labs. It is used as a synthetic ingredient in innumerable skincare products. It is a popular preservative which is generally used in permissible concentrations of up to 1% that is deemed safe by the experts around the globe to be used in cosmetics and skincare products. When used in combination with ethylhexylglycerin, its concentration is further lowered.


Name of Brand/ Organization Paula's Choice EWG CIR FDA EU Cosmetics Regulation
Rating/Review GOOD 2-4


Phenoxyethanol is one of the most researched and reviewed ingredients. Top regulatory bodies like FDA (Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety, efficacy and security of humans by making sure that cosmetics are safe to use), CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review thoroughly investigates the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics), EU Cosmetics Regulation (It ensures the safety of the consumers while using the cosmetic products) and EWG (Environmental Working Group Skin Deep is a cosmetic database for ensuring the safety of ingredients being used in personal care products) along with popular skin care brand Paula's Choice have rated it safe for use in cosmetics, personal care products. 

BENEFITS OF PHENOXYETHANOL: The multifaceted Phenoxyethanol has the following benefits:

  • Prohibits bacteria: It has powerful antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the products.
  • Promotes shelf-life: It enhances the longevity of the product by preventing it from getting spoilt.
  • Makes the product stable: It helps in maintaining the stability of the product as it is compatible with other ingredients.
  • Versatile in nature: It is effective in protecting the products from pathogens and is used in a wide range of products.

QUESTIONS ABOUT CONCENTRATIONIn recent times, Phenoxyethanol has been labelled as a questionable ingredient due to the research that is nowhere related to the cosmetics-grade concentration. The key to any ingredient being permitted to be used in a product is its 'concentration'. The fear-mongering studies that state Phenoxyethanol as a harmful ingredient are talking about it in its 100% concentration and not the cosmetic-grade level. Such misleading information is what leads to confusion related to the ingredients used.

There is a particular section which harps on the fact that synthetic preservatives are dangerous and should be replaced with natural preservatives. Usually, for the natural preservatives to be effective, their concentration required is close to 10% which is higher as compared to the synthetic preservatives. The catch here is that the higher levels of natural preservatives can lead to sensitizing skin that may lead to irritation of the skin and other skin related problems. Thus, it is clear that rooting for only natural preservatives is not going to solve the problem.

Preservatives are as important as the product itself and are instrumental in safeguarding the product. If they fail to do so, the products get contaminated and may result in serious skin issues.



Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published