Alternative for Phenoxyethanol

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend an alternative to phenoxyethanol as it seems to be ingredient that's making my solution cloudy. Thank you!


  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    edited May 22
    You will need to specify the type of product you are making and preferably provide a formulation or list of ingredients to get any useful suggestions.
  • gomorriangomorrian Member
    It has low polarity, makes hard to be solubilized in water. You can add some solubilizer like polysorbate 20 if cloudiness is the only problem
  • @mrlv90 like ozgirl mentioned you should share your formula!

    @gomorrian trapping a preservative in micelles doesn’t sound like a good idea. If phenoxyethanol is actually causing the cloudiness and it does get solubilized by PS20, then it will reduce the effectiveness of the preservative.

    Phenoxyethanol is miscible in water up to < 3%, and the maximum allowed usage in cosmetics is 1.1%. I am doubting it’s due solubility issues but rather an interaction with other ingredients.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    It can be a solubility issue which is also common with other not super well water soluble preservatives such as propylparaben or sorbic acid: If added too fast, it will locally surpass solubility limit and flocculate. Due to poor/slow solubility, this small precipitates don't readily re-dissolve. They also tend to attract more preservative and grow in size to form clearly visible lumps which become nearly impossible to dissolve (especially if oils are present in the formulation).
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