Phenoxyethanol is a bactericidal agent used in cosmetics as a preservative. Chemically it is an aromatic ether of Ethylene glycol. It presents itself as a viscous, transparent liquid, soluble in water and oil, stable in the absence of hydrochloric acid and strong oxidants, and with a weak smell of rose.
It has a wide spectrum of action as an antimicrobial and is effective against Gram+ and Gram- bacteria, yeasts and mold. It acts by binding to the wall of bacteria blocking their vital functions, preventing their reproduction and causing their death. In cosmetics, phenoxyethanol is used to preserve the formulation from microbial contamination in concentrations between 0.5% and 0.8%. Phenoxyethanol is a clear, pleasantly smelling liquid that is mainly used as a preservative, but can also be used as fixative agent in perfumes.
As a preservative (maximum concentration use 1%) it is primarily effective against bacteria. Phenoxyethanol is often used in combination with preservatives like Ethylhexylglycerin.
The optimum effect of Phenoxyethanol is in the pH range from 4 to 5.
Phenoxyethanol is an alternative to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.
Recommended concentration 0.5 – 0.8%
Solubility low solubility in water (0.5% in cold; 0.8% in hot).Soluble in alcohols, glycols, acetone, benzene, triethanolamine; in oils it is soluble up to 25%, in glycerin up to 10%
WIn Japan and the European Union, the concentration in cosmetics is restricted to 1%.
|MPhenol (ppm)||10 max|
|Water (%)||0.1 max|
Phenoxyethanol has a wide spectrum of action as an antimicrobial and is effective against GRAM+ and GRAM- bacteria, yeasts and mold. It acts by binding to the wall of bacteria and blocks their vital functions, preventing their reproduction and causing their death.
• Easy to use
• High efficacy
• More than 60% biodegradable.