Phenoxyethanol as a Safe and Important Preservative in Personal Care


Today’s personal care and cosmetic industry faces a combination of challenges as it seeks to maintain the integrity and safety of its products and respond to market trends and consumer opinions regarding preservatives. As the effects of preservatives are largely preventive, i.e., of microbial growth and product degradation, it is easy for consumers and others who do not see or appreciate their benefits to dismiss preservatives as unnecessary or potentially harmful. At R&D’s forefront is the ongoing scientific evaluation of preservatives and the need to communicate their safety and ability to protect products from microbial growth—in support of their continued use. In this second in a series of articles, the authors review phenoxyethanol, a commonly used preservative in personal care products and cosmetics; the first article, “The Importance of Formaldehyde-Donor Preservatives in Personal Care Products,” was published in July 2013.

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