I have experienced some disadvantages of the use of phenoxyethanol and I wonder if phenethyl alcohol has any substantial advantages over phenoxyethanol in some ways, or if it is of no use to replace one for the other or if they’re even comparable at all regarding antibacterial properties.
I can imagine phenoxyethanol having a broader antibacterial spectrum as it’s (more often) purposely used for this reason, but I'm not sure.
To be honest I haven’t really been diving into the matter, as I have to place an order rather soon and I saw that the supplier stocks phenethyl alcohol too.
Solubility of phenoxyethanol in water is 0,5 gr/100 ml. Solubility of phenethyl alcohol in water is 2 ml/100 ml, the relative density is 1,02 gr/cm3 (wikipedia), so a solubility of 2,04% as opposed to 0,5% already seems at least one advantage.
However I don’t know the recommended or maximal level when used as preservative, because the European Union hasn’t designated the substance for the use of preservation, so a limit hasn’t been set. Neither do I know the minimal inhibitory concentration.
My question to you all is: what are your experiences with phenethyl alcohol as antimicrobial. Do you know the recommended usage level. Can it cause comparable stability issues to phenoxyethanol, is it easier to work with and are there other things to keep in mind.
N.B. I will be pairing it up with methyl- and propyl paraben.
Thanks in advance!
Edited the the substance name as the name phenethyl alcohol is more used than its synonym phenylethyl alcohol.