Preservative for pH below 4

I am making a 10% Lactic Acid gel with 1% PE 9010 as my preservative. 
but  I am trying to find a replacement for Phenoxyethanol.

what can I do to either reduce phenoxyethanol % or to eliminate it. 

is sodium benzoate @ 0.5% enough?


  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    depending on what else you have in the gel, it's very likely to precipitate out of the gel as benzoic acid below pH 4
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • This is some information from new direction
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Try Phenethyl Alcohol
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
  • I often see sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in peels and acid toners with pH below 4. 
  • Lower pH to 3 or below  and You wil have product with low microbiology risk (ISO 29621:2017) and no need to use preservative.
  • Skin of most of the people doesn't tolerate pH below 3 well
  • twokchutwokchu Member
    edited April 2019
  • often used in pharmaceutical/Pharmaceutical syrup as preservative.
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