Phenoxyethanol Facts

I’ve decided to continue with my efforts to help further educate you, the consumer so that you know what you are putting into your body. I feel it’s only proper for me to share information on various ingredients and chemicals that you might be consuming. Today’s ingredient is called phenoxyethanol. Let’s talk!

phenoxyethanolWhat Is Phenoxyethanol?

If you have ever been curious to learn what phenoxyethanol is, then you’re in luck because I’m going to share everything I know about this important ingredient right now. Phenoxyethanol, when used in a commercial setting is typically produced synthetically. Naturally, it’s an ingredient that you will find in green tea. The product is commercially manufactured by simply treating a chemical called phenol with ethylene oxide. This is treated in an alkaline and the reaction forms the ingredient in it’s most pH-balanced form.

This ingredient basically fights off bacteria! One wouldn’t think that their personal care products would be breeding grounds for bacteria, but the truth of the matter is that most of the products you use are made of water and other natural oils, nutrients and things of the nature. What that means is that it’s basically an ideal location for breeding microscopic organisms and bacteria. The crazy party about this is that you’d likely have no idea how much bacteria and fungi can be swarming in your products just by looking at them. Phenoxyethanol fights bacteria by preserving the product itself and protecting it from bacteria.

Why We Need It?

Many skin care companies as well as other product producing companies use a low concentration of phenoxyethanol as a preservative because it’s effective and it’s pretty safe to use at low levels. In fact, the ingredient has even been tested on the skin and eye of individuals with the results being positive. I’m talking no irritation, no increased sensitivity or anything of that nature, even at levels as high as 2.2% or lower. However, the recommended formula amount is typically 0.5% or less. The specific amount varies depending on the product itself. Another reason why this product is commonly used is due to the fact that it doesn’t react negatively with any other ingredients. It’s very stable, to say the least.

The ingredient has also been approved by Whole Foods Premium Body Care, which means it meets pretty high standards and has been tested in some of the strictest environments known to exist. This builds up the credibility of phenoxyethanol.


Well, like any other ingredient that’s used to manufacture products, there has been some controversy surrounding the ingredient and its safety use. There are articles which attempt to link phenoxyethanol to cancer, development and reproductive issues and more. The truth is, yes, it’s possible that this ingredient can cause damage. However, that damage is likely to occur due to having an extremely high dose exposure. For typical and everyday real life usage, the ingredient poses no threat to individuals. If it did pose a threat, there’s no way that it would have been approved up to 1%. It would likely be much lower. It really boils down to consumption in the right amounts and intended usage. Doing so shouldn’t lead to any issues whatsoever.

Keep in mind, this product just like every other product, it’s certainly not perfect. It can be harsh. But so can alcohol if over consumed. My point is that every product contains ingredients that have their limitations. It’s important that you stay within those limitations, that’s all.

If you’re overly concerned about using a product that contains phenoxyethanol, then I suggest that you put forth the effort to read labels of products that you’re purchasing and even better, bring the products to your dermatologist to find out if they think it’s safe enough for you to use. The one thing that I’d like to stress that you not do is do not cut products out of your life due to fear. If you’re afraid that something might be bad for you then investigate it or if you’re too afraid to do so ask us and we’ll investigate for you. Sometimes eliminating things from your body can do more harm than good. I know it sounds strange but when it comes to healthy skin, products can be a life saver and you don’t want to make things worse.

Phenoxyethanol Facts
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