Phenoxyethanol has turn into a sizzling subject not too long ago and is an ingredient we’re often requested about.

After I began formulating Pai again in 2006, I checked out Phenoxyethanol as a preservative for Pai merchandise. Nonetheless, I found I used to be illiberal to it even in tiny quantities, so rapidly dominated it out as an possibility.

At the moment each the Soil Affiliation and ECOCERT allowed Phenoxyethanol in licensed natural merchandise.

ECOCERT has since disallowed Phenoxyethanol in beauty formulations, and the Soil Affiliation is following their lead in 2012 when it turns into a part of the brand new COSMOS European Natural Certification programme.

Because of this, various pure and natural beauty manufacturers are working arduous to take away it from their merchandise. Reformulation is an especially expensive and time-intensive train, so these corporations are to be applauded.

Some manufacturers gained’t trouble to reformulate and can both lose their natural certification, or transfer over to a lax normal such because the Natural Meals Federation (UK), which permits Phenoxyethanol and isn’t a part of COSMOS.

So, Phenoxyethanol isn’t only a sizzling subject for customers, however one that’s proving more and more controversial and divisive throughout the pure and natural magnificence sector.

What’s Phenoxyethanol?

Within the cosmetics business, Phenoxyethanol is used as a stabiliser in perfumes and as a preservative.

For the science-buffs on the market, Phenoxyethanol’s chemical identify is 2-phenoaxyethanol; ethylene glycol phenyl ether.

It’s an oily, colourless liquid that belongs to the household of the glycol ether.

Though Phenoxyethanol could be discovered naturally in inexperienced tea and chicory, the beauty ingredient will not be plant derived. As a substitute, it’s synthetically produced in a laboratory.

Why is it so prolific in pure cosmetics?

When the well being scare surrounding Parabens surfaced, a raft of beauty producers regarded for a fast and efficient alternative preservative for his or her formulations.

Phenoxyethanol appeared to suit the invoice as a dependable different, providing a broad spectrum of antimicrobial exercise in opposition to bacterias, moulds and yeasts.

Present beauty regulation advises that the ingredient solely be utilized in proportions beneath 1%.

(Word: Elements are at all times listed in proportional order, so should you see Phenoxyethanol referenced excessive up an ingredient record, then the producer could also be utilizing greater than 1%).

So why the controversy over Phenoxyethanol?

Whereas present scientific analysis on Phenoxyethanol is conflicting, some specialists consider it to be a poisonous ingredient.

Repeated publicity to the substance over extended durations has been linked to contact dermatitis (extra information 1 and 2), worsening of eczema (extra info), reproductive toxicity (extra info) and neurotoxicity (extra information 1 and 2).

Earlier than you begin worrying, you will need to stress that not one of the out there analysis information is conclusive, and it usually applies to publicity to Phenoxyethanol in isolation or merchandise containing excessive doses of the ingredient.

It is a controversial and complex subject which I’m certain will proceed to be debated at size. To proceed your analysis, check out fellow blogger’s No More Dirty Looks post, which I feel sums up the subject somewhat effectively.