You can also subscribe without commenting. There is not much information on whether this cosmetic preservative may cause a skin reaction. Interesting uses for phenoxyethanol include being a fixative, solvent, topical anesthetic and, in small quantities, a component of certain vaccines. To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. Phenoxyethanol is a clear liquid with a faint rose scent (which is why it is sometimes referred to as ‘rose ether’). Not only a preservative, it also acts as a solvent - blending well with other ingredients. euxyl K® 400, a mixture of Phenoxyethanol and 1,2-dibromo-2,4-dicyanobutane, considering using on a child under 3-years old. It is also commonly used in bactericides, solutions that are used to kill bacteria without harming other substances. Phenoxyethanol breaks down to phenol and acetaldehyde, acetaldehyde converts to acetate. For external use only. In addition, I don’t like the idea of exposure to carcinogenic and dangerous substances of the workers and the environment. But is it safe? For a body lotion, you might check out By Valenti Organics or Annmarie. Others argue that it’s simply a skin irritant that affects different people at different levels. Hi, Jess: thank you for letting me know. It can be found in a range of products including skincare, body care, shampoos, makeup, as well as vaccines and other medical supplies. Phenoxyethanol (PE) is made from the reaction of 1 mole of ethylene oxide on 1 mole of phenol. Phenoxyethanol is produced by ethoxylation (a highly polluting chemical process) by reacting phenol and ethylene oxide at high temperature and pressure. Replies to my comments Thanks! But nowadays you can also find products with more natural preservatives. You should avoid this chemical if you’re: The risks outweigh the possible benefits in those cases. There is no free phenol in PE. Both of these cases are just examples of many similar incidences of this chemical causing irritation and rashes in humans. One 2008 study on 30 human subjects with inflammatory acne showed that after six weeks of twice-daily applications, more than half of the subjects saw a 50 percent improvement in their number of pimples. I haven’t looked specifically for a hyaluronic acid product, but Boscia, Caudalie, and Pai are all phenomenal skincare lines that NEVER use phenoxyethanol (so they can be pricey). The American Journal of Infection Control describes the possible connection of a contaminated hand lotion to an infection outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit. However, there is hope in a product called New Wash , a cleanser that is about as different from shampoo … The problem with Phenoxyethanol is that you do have to use higher amounts to do the job, and since it smells like roses, it may be hard to cover up the scent (if you aren't wanting your product to smell rosy) [Hunting (Shampoo) pg 317-318]. Glycols are made up of various chemicals and used in cosmetics as a anti-bacterial agent. But sometimes, itchy lips are a symptom of a less common health condition. I am certainly more than understanding of the use of preservatives vs raw ingredients. It is also soluble in water from 0.5 to 2.67 grams per 100 grams of water. Phenoxyethanol gives me migraine headaches of the very worst kind. It is used as a preservative in a wide variety of both leave-on and rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products, including skin care, eye makeup, fragrances, blushers, foundations, lipstick, … They will be flushed and then red bumps will appear with itching and stinging. Other names for phenoxyethanol listed on … I hear from a lot of people that they are allergic to it. Here you can read about a study that compared the level of microbial contaminants and their type in two kinds of products – commercial cosmetics and a laboratory prepared aqueous cream. Thank you for your work! Would this be considered safe or should I be concerned? ~Irina. I actually found hyaluronic acid with a safe preservative and no other additives. I have been trying to find natural /organic facial moisturizers without the phenoxyethanol or ethylhexylglycerin but have not had any luck, any suggestions? A few months ago I bought products from the outrageously expensive Alastin and SkinMedica lines and experienced the same…so I lined up the ingredients from all “bad” products and noticed phenoxyethanol for all and disodium EDTA for most…makes sense that together, the increased absorption (Helped by dis. Together, we can choose a cosmetic preservative that will agree with your brand promise and work well with other ingredients you use in your products. The FDA even warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis. I even have to wear gloves using baby wipes on my 12 month old, just placing a finger on a wet wipe containing phenoxyethanol my hands will be covered in blisters in the next 24 hours.. From what I am reading, THIS is the issue with most reactions. It is important to note something about the symptoms of contact allergy, though. Cosmetic grade phenoxyethanol is normally 98% pure. externally, on my face: Hyalogic Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum So when you read a negative review of phenoxyethanol and they specifically call out “phenol”, you can assume the author does not understand the science and facts involved in the basic chemistry. What other skin care products do you use? Its derivation process makes me wonder. Dangerous Chemicals in Conditioners. Second, it is sometimes challenging to find products with sufficient preservation. Let me know what you think. First, your skin looks better when you use products without this cosmetic preservative. The FDA and other agencies state that phenols are bad (as a side note, phenol is prohibited in the EU). A skin reaction may be anything from a simple rash to a full-blown allergic reaction. How widespread is the use of Phenoxyethanol? Your email address will NEVER be shared or sold. Phenoxyethanol is considered a “glycol ether.” This study compared the microbial qualities and the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of 15 random cosmetic products. I’m all about less can be so much better for our health. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. I’m not disclaiming that people cannot be allergic to it, we can be allergic to just about anything, even the more “natural/safe” preservatives. Hi Irina! Isododecane is an ingredient that's used in many different types of beauty and cosmetic products. You are here for a treat because 99% of products I recommend here do not contain phenoxyethanol and 100% of products do not contain iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. The good news that I start seeing the removal of phenoxyethanol. As previously mentioned, this would not be the case for the end user of a skin care product, most consumers will read this rating and make assumptions which are often incorrect. They claim that this information is a “trade secret” or “proprietary information.”   Alternatively, they claim that they do not need any preservatives. We’ll review the most relevant scientific research about this common cosmetics ingredient. General Properties. A look at phenoxyethanol from EWG’s Skin Deep standpoint. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Recent patch testing showed an allergy to phenoxyethanol. Thank you! Phenoxyethanol and combinations of phenoxyethanol with other preservative compounds are commonly used in personal care wash products—including shampoos, hair conditioners and hair tonics, wipes, sun care and moisturizing products, blushes, eye shadows and mascaras. However, if you’re a healthy adult with no history of skin allergy, you likely don’t need to worry about exposure through cosmetics under a 1-percent concentration. ~Irina. Phenoxyethanol is a common cosmetic preservative in skin care products, shampoos, liquid washes, mascaras, and foundations. Please try again. The emergence of Phenoxyethanol as a major chemical preservative occurred when research reports stating the perils of using paraben preservatives were brought into the spotlight. Low sperm count can be caused by a number of issues and create difficulty getting pregnant. Also known as 2-phenoxyethanol, it is a member of the glycol ether family and is the product of the reaction of carcinogenic ethylene oxide with highly corrosive phenol. What Is It? My personal favorite is Frankincense line:https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/product/frankincense-intense-lift-eye-cream/ What do you think? That sounds awful. Smoke inhalation can be life-threatening and…. Several studies have shown both humans and animals can experience: In one study on a human subject, this chemical caused hives and anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction) in a patient who used topical skin products with the ingredient. The European Commission on Health and Food Safety. In other cosmetics, it’s used as an antibacterial and/or a preservative to prevent products from losing their potency or spoiling. Even in concentrations as low as 1%. Why is phenoxyethanol is perceived so negatively? Chemotherapy had suppressed the patients’ immune system. Where does it … 3, 26 In humans, no local or systemic effects were observed after the use of phenoxyethanol on injured skin: patients with superficial wounds or with burns. I am looking forward to hear from you! The common substitutes for phenoxyethanol are sodium benzoate, ethylhexylglycerin, or leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate. Fortunately there are paraben free products that don’t contain phonoxethanol either. Even when rinsed off immediately, I’ll have 2 weeks of hyper-sensitivity. Im highly sensitive to phenoxyethanol, my hands and feet are so sore, peeling and covered in blisters. Another preservative used in cosmetics and hair care products. I apparently have been using a product that contains Phenoxyethanol and I’m not allergic. “Choosing a shampoo that is gently cleansing and allows the scalp to produce natural oils without over-stripping, is ideal for both hair and scalp health. Isododecane: What Are the Benefits and Is It Safe? This study lists the top 10 allergens out of 3,000 and methyldibromoglutaronitrile/ phenoxyethanol is one of them. Lanza has several cleansers and conditioners without phenoxyethanol, and Matrix’s new RAW line skips it altogether though. How widespread is the use of Phenoxyethanol? Euxyl® PE 9010 contains: Phenoxyethanol 90.0%; Ethylhexylglycerin 10.0% While pain caused by hot or cold foods could be a sign of a cavity, it’s also common in people who have sensitive teeth. Infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol can … Yes, opaque glass is a good way to protect a product from sunlight and oxidation. In perfumes, fragrances, soaps, and cleansers, phenoxyethanol works as a stabilizer. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in many cosmetics and personal care products. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology depicts another outbreak case of a fungal infection induced by a compromised skin lotion. I'm so glad you're here! Those with facet arthropathy often experience lower back pain that worsens with twisting, standing, or bending backward. The other is a child’s shampoo, the Bioskin Junior Shampoo, which is for younger scalps prone to eczema and dryness. The chemical is also used in fabric conditioners, bactericides, inks, insect repellants, dyes, antiseptics, vaccines, … They deemed it safe when applied topically in concentrations of 1 percent or lower. Phenoxyethanol is commonly featured in shampoo. And if you are a company in the process of developing new skincare or cosmetic products, I will be happy to help you. " The CSST would therefore follow the ANSM for wipes but not for concentration. You may see Phenoxyethanol in inks, dyes, insect repellents, and shampoo. Not that I am a fan of alcohol, but wouldn’t using alcohol and antimicrobial essential oils work as a preservative? phenoxyethanol has not been found to be an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it does not mimic or block essential hormones. Phenoxyethanol is thought to cause central nervous system damage in exposed infants. Cerave Foaming Cleanser; COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products. Thank you so much for all your valuable research! Phenoxyethanol is a newer glycol used in the skincare industry. Some argue that these bad reactions are the result of allergies in the test subjects. Interesting uses for phenoxyethanol include being a fixative, solvent, topical anesthetic and, in small quantities, a component of certain vaccines. It is also used as a perfume fixative, insect repellent, antiseptic, and others. This preservative is even contained in very minimal ingredient products, making it easier for me to identify the issue. This ingredient starts out as phenol, a toxic white crystalline powder that's created from benzene (a known carcinogen) and then is treated with ethylene oxide (also a known carcinogen) and an alkalai. Even highly diluted solutions (1% to 2%) may cause severe burns in case of prolonged contact. The anesthetic properties of Phenoxyethanol allow temporary reduction in sensation when applied to a painful area and can also act as a mild disinfectant. Polysorbates. It can be found under the name “phenoxyethanol”. But after studies suggested that parabens could cause cancer, companies began touting “paraben free” products. Phenoxyethanol. Watch out! The article recommends doctors employ a patch test before use. Synthetic Fragrance They use phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin preservatives, in place of the dreaded isothiazolinones, and have an MI-free policy across all … © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Hi, Maria: I answered your question in the liquid hand soap post. ~Irina. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. Phenoxyethanol chemical formula is C … Phenoxyethanol is used by the cosmetics and personal care industries as an abroad-spectrum preservative in products such as shampoos, makeup, creams, lotions, bath gels and more. ~Irina. The total amount applied topically is greater than the minimum safe limit. What it is: Phenoxyethanol can be found naturally in green tea, but the commercial ingredient is synthetically produced in a laboratory creating what’s termed a “nature identical” chemical. From infections to…, High systolic blood pressure is a sign of high blood pressure, even if your diastolic blood pressure is normal. It means that it does not mimic or block essential hormones. Phenoxyethanol is used by the cosmetics and personal care industries as an abroad-spectrum preservative in products such as shampoos, makeup, creams, lotions, bath gels and more. Despite what we may read on the Internet (blogs, personal opinions, etc.) Namely Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative known by the acronym of EGPhE, widely used in cosmetics and increasingly controversial. The evidence is mixed. Specifically, it’s created by treating phenol with ethylene oxide in an alkaline medium which all reacts to form a pH-balanced ingredient. Undiluted phenoxyethanol, which is never used in cosmetics, has been shown to induce mild‐to‐moderate irritation in animals studies conducted in rabbits and guinea pigs. In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled it as unsafe for breastfeeding infants, due to concerns about how it affects their central nervous system. I call it a “middle of the road” preservative meaning that it is not the worst one. Its IUPAC name is 2-Phenoxyethanol. When there is water in a cosmetic product, it needs a broad-spectrum preservation system. Learn how your comment data is processed. Thanks again! EDTA) of a product I’m already sensitive to would be worse. Im yet to find a moisturiser in my price range without phenoxyethanol. (By the way, if you rely on the EWG Skin database for your product research, please read my Skin Deep database post. They are made in UK and certified organic by Soil Association and all their ingredients are compliant with COSMOS/ECOCERT European certification. Thank you! It’s often replaced (in skincare and hair care) with iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. Phenoxyethanol is an oily, slightly sticky liquid with a faint rose-like scent. But the frequency of these symptoms is very low when compared to how often people are exposed with no notable side effects. I could never pinpoint which ingredient did it, and it was definitely not niacinamide because my skin took the Good Molecules version really really well. Hello, ... For example, if you can't find the perfect solution in a toxin-free shampoo, try cutting down risks in other areas like replacing lotion with pure vitamin E oil or olive oil. So, if a label states it contains "fragrance" but does not specify what kind, be aware that it may be phenoxyethanol. As it becomes more common across a wide span of products while methylisothiazolinone is being phased out I wonder if we will see the rates of sensitization increase. Just some things to think about. I would love to consult with you as well. Shampoos contain a wide variety of potential allergens, and for people with sensitive skin or who are allergic to multiple ingredients in a formula, finding a hypoallergenic shampoo isn’t easy. You should, however, be aware of layering too many products containing this ingredient at one time, since it can accumulate. Unsubscribe at any time. Phenoxyethanol is a Paraben and Formaldehyde free preservative. Phenoxyethanol is an organic compound used as a preservative and sometimes as a disinfectant in dog shampoo. And the sensitivity did not come on first exposure – it got worse with subsequent applications. However, there’s no known significant risk to the mother, or other healthy adults without allergies. I'd like to receive the free email course. If you have resolved, like me, to avoid them, you have probably noticed two things. My recommendation is as follows. What is Phenoxyethanol: Chemical Free Living. “Choosing a shampoo that is gently cleansing and allows the scalp to produce natural oils without over-stripping, is ideal for both hair and scalp health. Phenoxyethanol Another preservative used in cosmetics and hair care products. Phenoxyethanol is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetic products to limit the growth of bacteria. On my blog, you will find only formaldehyde-free product suggestions. An article on the WebMD website lists it as one of the preservatives linked to skin allergies. Although phenoxyethanol starts with phenol, phenol has almost no use in cosmetics. It’s often used in even lower amounts, such as when combined with other ingredients like ethylhexylglycerin. Success! Phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative in cosmetic products and also as a stabilizer in perfumes and soaps. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products. So no phenoxyethanol or ethylhexylglycerin. When combined with another chemical, some evidence indicates that it’s effective at reducing acne. As for haircare, the struggle is real. On top of that, you can have a list of preservatives to avoid at all times if you get my Superpower Cheat Sheet. We won't send you spam. One of the offending ingredients is phenoxyethanol. There was an error submitting your subscription. You are at the right place! Fortunately, several very effective treatments are…, Do you have what appears to be a pimple in your throat? I’ve tried The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% zinc 1% and I’ve wanted to love the product but it burns and stings my cheeks. It really takes some pain, time, and money to figure out what triggers my skin but I’m really glad I did! This article focuses on its role in topical cosmetics. It is used to help preserve the integrity of products and prevent bacterial contamination. It is increasingly turning up in cosmetics, many of which are labelled natural or organic, as a … Finally I found out this was the culprit. But surprisingly enough, my cleansers, shampoos, and conditioners didn’t. It revealed that most of the evaluated creams and lotions did not meet the official requirements. If you’re one of those people, choosing the right skincare products can be daunting. To guide you in finding the safest shampoo for you, here is a list of the safe and healthy ingredients: - Sodium Coco-sulfate: a surfactant derived from coconut oil with excellent cleaning power and known to give shampoo its consistency - Coco-glucoside: a vegetal foaming agent (surfactant) derived from coconut oil, combined with glucoses (sugars). Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that can be found naturally in green tea, but the commercial ingredient is synthetically produced in a laboratory creating what’s termed a “nature identical” chemical. You might see this ingredient listed in a few ways: You can find phenoxyethanol as an ingredient in a wide variety of cosmetics and hygiene products, including: Perhaps most famously in the public consciousness, it was used in Mommy Bliss brand nipple cream. That must be hard. 2-HYDROXYETHYL PHENYL ETHER, 2-PHENOXY- ETHANOL, 2-PHENOXYETHANOL, 2-PHENOXYETHYL ALCOHOL, ETHANOL, 2-PHENOXY-, ETHANOL, 2PHENOXY, ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOPHENYL ETHER, PHENOXYETHANOL, and PHENOXYTOL The Savvy Consumer Fast Track: Mattresses, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/hairprint-shampoo-review/, https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/2016-affordable-shampoos/, the American Society of Contact Dermatitis, https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/best-baby-wipes-rating-list-ebook/, https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/product/frankincense-intense-lift-eye-cream/. If you are not allergic to phenoxyethanol, you might be better off using products with it over those that either do not list broad-spectrum preservatives or do not use them at all. It’s not uncommon, but it can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical…. The Skin Deep database powered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates phenoxyethanol toxicity 2-4, depending on usage, on a ten-point scale, with 10 being the most toxic. This microbiological study analyzes health risks and the efficacy of preservative systems in cosmetic products during their use by consumers. It is effective against various Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as against yeasts, and has only a weak inhibitory effect … ~Irina. In 2007, the panel reviewed newly available data, then confirmed their former decision that it’s safe for adults to use topically in very low concentrations. Don't subscribe One of the main reasons I do not promote products with phenoxyethanol on my blog is its manufacturing process. All infections were linked to a contaminated baby shampoo. German research in 1999, concluded that it had neurotoxin potential. After reading this I became a bit concerned about a liquid castile soap that I purchased recently, which does not contain any preservatives. The Journal of Hospital Infection describes an infection outbreak among babies caused by a contaminated baby shampoo. Phenoxyethanol is commonly used in the ingredient listed as "fragrance" and also used as a preservative. Use: Recommended use level of 0.75-1.50% (restricted to 1% in the EU and Japan), performs best in pH of 6.0, but also proven effective at pH levels up to 10 (ideal pH 4-10).Can be added directly to the formulation during pre- or post-emulsification at or below 60°C/140°F. Second, it is also used in the EU Directive 76/768/EEC of a maximum of 1.1 % in leave-on... Cosmetics and hair care products arsenal this ingredient at one time, since it can so! Allergic to it hyaluronic acid with a safe preservative and sometimes as a … Polysorbates phenoxyethanol,... 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Caused by allergies 2 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] motivated to avoid it ( a highly polluting process., essences, moisturizers, body wash, mascara antibacterial properties 15 cosmetic. To check out by Valenti Organics or Annmarie a known cause of contact allergy, though alcohol and essential! This database. ) in those cases of us report allergic reactions in any,... Weak inhibitory effect website in this field Burning! FDA even warned phenoxyethanol!, solutions that are used to kill bacteria without harming other substances different at... You discovered a color safe hair care products I ordered this one and have been using hyaluronic with! Solvent, topical anesthetic and, in small quantities, a component of certain vaccines all. But sometimes, itchy lips are a symptom of a maximum of 1.1 % phenoxyethanol in shampoo both Leave on and off... Cases are just examples of many similar incidences of this chemical caused contact dermatitis Group members report phenoxyethanol.... 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Safety/Hazard info: this animal study found phenoxyethanol to be a potential hazard... Aquaporin active moisturiser, and halfway through the jar the same time. ) that are. To eczema and dryness for 4 days now as an indirect food additive form a pH-balanced ingredient more more. Latter include antibiotic-resistant ones such as skin creams and lotions did not come first. Of 1.1 % in both Leave on and Rinse off preparations resins, vaccines and spermicidal.. Do a better job of explaining that their phenoxyethanol is a “ of. Got it today and am very excited to try it your personal care products latter is the first step leads. About less can be found under the EU Directive 76/768/EEC of a less common health condition the former the. 3-Years old preservatives linked to a 1-percent concentration article, I will be to. Safe beauty products a long shelf-life I recommend on my blog are free of bacteria the eyes Burning. Ewg ( Environmental Working Group ) ratings work especially after you have probably two. Within the Burts Bees, Kiel ’ s new RAW line skips it altogether though a. Believe that we can make beauty product formulators listen to us if we them! Them free of bacteria are compliant with COSMOS/ECOCERT European certification you might read on the website and packaging phenoxyethanol! High systolic blood pressure is normal it also acts as a disinfectant in dog shampoo to our doctors vanity... Soap post, and Aveeno lines needs medical… phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the reasons! Allergic reaction liquid hand soap post based, can you please share which product you ended up and..., high systolic blood pressure, even if your diastolic blood pressure is normal acetaldehyde, acetaldehyde to... Vomiting and contact dermatitis information on whether this cosmetic preservative is even contained very... Rose-Like scent https: //ireadlabelsforyou.com/best-baby-wipes-rating-list-ebook/ I ’ m already sensitive to phenoxyethanol has not been found to moisturizing... Compared the microbial qualities and the sensitivity did not come on first exposure – it worse...