henoxyethanol is glycol ether used as a preservative in cosmetic products and medicines. It has aromatic properties that can enhance a skin product’s scent. The substance is a oily colorless liquid which is found in chicory and green tea.

History of usage

Phenoxyethanol was used as a major chemical preservative paraben preservatives were forbidden in many countries. This compound is a suitable alternative to paraben as it is easy to obtain and inexpensive. The anesthetic properties allow temporary reduction in sensation when applied to a painful area.

Specific benefits of Phenoxyethanol in cosmetics

This organic compound has antimicrobial properties against yeast, bacterial organisms and molds. These attributes help Phenoxyethanol act as a preservative against germ contamination of bottled products.

Phenoxyethanol is mainly found in dermatological and pharmaceutical products including perfumes as stabilizing agent, sunscreens, shampoos, ointments and moisturizers.

Side effects of Phenoxyethanol

According to FDA, the ingestion of Phenoxyethanol can be toxic and harmful for infants because it produces depression of the central nervous system and leads to the occurrence of diarrhea and vomiting. The combined presence of Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin in a product may cause the depression in the respiratory system of infants and those already in poor health. The concentration of this chemical in any cosmetic or other products should not exceed one percent of the total contents. Further, mothers of newborns should avoid the application of cosmetics containing Phenoxyethanol if they are breastfeeding, to prevent possible transmission of the chemical to the child.

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