Phenoxyethanol

You won’t find phenoxyethanol or any of it’s derivatives in KISST Organics Products!

While paraben preservatives seem to be falling out of favor as ingredients in the cosmetic industry, they are still in most over the counter products. Surprisingly, people tend to be tolerant to phenoxyethanol as a preservative. It often appears in the ingredients list of many natural and even organic beauty product lines. Sometimes manufacturers will add a clause “derived from grapefruits”.

So is phenoxyethanol safe?

Apparently, phenoxyethanol is no lesser evil than parabens. While it’s generally non-irritating and formaldehyde-free, it’s not any better! Here’s why.

Many studies have shown that phenoxyethanol aka ethylene glycol monophenyl ether or glycolic ether that was once believed to be non-toxic, causes damaging effects on the brain and the nervous system, even at moderate concentrations. As a cosmetic ingredient, phenoxyethanol is restricted in Japan and the European Union. Even the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data sheets show “chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.”

In cosmetic formulations, phenoxyethanol is used to kill bacteria and stabilize the formulation. It’s often combined with polyquaterniums to balance its acidity. While it’s theoretically possible to derive phenoxyethanol from natural sources, generally the beauty industry prefers a cheap synthetic phenoxyethanol that can be bought very cheaply from China.

I also came across over the interesting bit of research:

Phenoxyethanol breaks down to phenol and acetaldehyde, acetaldehyde converts to acetate. Phenol can disable the immune system’s primary response mechanism. Given that, I find it ironic, that phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial in vaccines. Acetaldehyde occurs during the breakdown of ethanol, (alcohol and 2-phenoxyETHANOL), it is a suspected carcinogen. Inhalation studies have shown irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

All the warnings refer to concentrated phenoxyethanol when it’s swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin of poor, helpless animals. Conventional chemists insist that phenoxyethanol is safe at lower doses, because in cosmetics the concentrations are typically 0.5% to 1%.

Now, what is 1% when it comes to a bottle of a lotion? 1% means 2 grams of pure 100% phenoxyethanol per 200 ml bottle of a lotion, a shampoo or a fragrance. It’s almost a teaspoonful! Does it make any difference if you rub it at once all over your body or you spread the damage and massage the toxin a drop at a time over a couple of months? It still ends up inside your body in any case. You simply opt for slow poisoning rather than a quick kill. Unfortunately, phenoxyethanol contaminates even the purest and most organic formulation. So please, check your ingredients. When you see phenoxyethanol listed on a bottle put it back on the shelf and look for a truly green, safe and healthy product.

Phenoxyethanol is also known by the following nicknames:

Dowanol, Arosol Emery 6705, Phenoxetol Rose ether (sounds really organic!!!)Phenoxyethyl alcohol Glycol monophenyl ether, Beta-hydroxyethyl phenyl ether

 

 

Veronica Phelps

KISST Organics
 


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