Inactivation of Preservatives

Is the inactivation of 2-phenoxyethanol by non-ionic surfactants such as polysorbate 20 or PEG-100 Stearate a very large concern even if those surfactants are used at 1.5% of a face cream formula? Thinking of using an anionic-surfactant based formula instead.

Comments

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Phenoxyethanol is not deactivated by nonionic surfactants. Most overlooked property of phenoxyethanol is that it does not act well alone as a preservative. It is most effective "cooperating" with polyols, parabens, phenolics, PCMX, etc.
  • I read on this link that there is some inactivation. Is this false? https://www.americanpharmaceuticalreview.com/Featured-Articles/38885-Antimicrobial-Preservatives-Part-Two-Choosing-a-Preservative/

    ''benzyl alcohol [16], 2-phenoxyethanol [42], 4-chloroxylenol [20] and m-cresol [25] should not be formulated with non-ionic surfactants. Chlorobutanol [43] and 2-phenylethanol [37] are adversely affected by the presence of non-ionic surfactants, e.g. polysorbate 80.''

  • Does anyone know?
  • I've personally never experienced this problem. 
    I've also never heard of phenoxyethanol being deactivated by non-ionic surfactants before.
  • natzam44 said:
    I've personally never experienced this problem. 
    I've also never heard of phenoxyethanol being deactivated by non-ionic surfactants before.
    I should add that phenoxyethanol can be weakened by large amounts of ethoxylated surfactants but this is usually a non-issue.
  • I was quite puzzled because the link I shared seems very much like a reputable source yet they say that non-ionics can inactivate phenoxyethanol... maybe % of the non-ionic surfactants is major here.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited January 13
    Parabens can get deactivated by non-ionics, especially polysorbate 80 (and to a lesser extent 20 and 60). I've never heard this about phenoxyethanol.

    Here some information from a book called Surfactants in Cosmetics by Rieger/Rhein:




  • A very interesting read there Doreen. Thank you. I f you check out the website url that I linked, you will see that phenoxyethanol seems to have issues with non-ionic surfactants too. I think I may stop using Arlacel 165 and switch over to glyceryl stearate and sodium stearoyl glutamate.
  • I know that information that phenoxy is deactivated by highly ethoxylated compounds comes from some crafter suppliers including lotoincrafter https://lotioncrafter.com/products/phenoxyethanol?_pos=1&_sid=6197b176d&_ss=r
    Still don't know whether it's true or they just misunderstood something.
  • @LuisJavier
    You're welcome! And thanks for the link, I will have a thorough read as soon as I have time.
    @ngarayeva001
    Interesting. Now I must say that Lotioncrafter doesn't always provide 100% accurate information, but this indeed is puzzling.
  • You're welcome
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