Is phenoxyethanol broad-spectrum?

natzam44natzam44 Member
edited July 2017 in Formulating
Hello, 
I have been looking into using phenoxyethanol as a preservative for a hair product I am making but I am not 100% sure wether it is broad-spectrum or not. Some sources say it is but others say that it is not and that it requires another ingredient to boost its efficency. I would appreciate it if someone could clear this up for me.

Thanks,
Nathaniel 


Comments

  • DavidDavid Member
    edited July 2017
    the term "broad-spectrum" is not clearly defined so that's why you may get different answers. In one sense all cosmetic preservatives are "broad-spectrum" otherwise they wouldn't classify as preservatives. If phenoxyethanol alone will be enough depends on your formulation and %.
  • @David
    Thanks for clearing that up it is really appreciated.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited July 2017
    I am not a fan of Phenoxyethanol by itself. I would recommend using it in combination with a boosting agent (Ethylhexylglycerin as in Euxyl PE9010) or (Capryl Glycol in Saliguard PG). I would also recommend a chelant as well.

    Here is a great article by George Deckner that discusses the preservative at length.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited July 2017
    @Microformulation
    Interesting article!
    These boosting agents, ethylhexylglycerin for example, do they make the PE more effective on the microbes that are already sensitive to it?
    The explanation on the site of Lotioncrafter got me thinking it is especially effective on gram negative bacteria, but reading this article, it seems the other way around.
    Thanks!

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    They aid in penetration across the cell wall. They also have some mild preservation on their own through their ability to disrupt the cell membrane.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • @Microformulation Thanks for listing that article it really helped clear up all of my questions about phenoxyethanol and it was very interesting.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @Microformulation
    Ok, thank you for explaining it!
  • I’ve been using Liquid Germall Plus for all my lotion and water based pomades.  Works great.  And it is considered a broad spectrum preservative!  
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