Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Does Phenoxyethanol Compromise Emusions?

  • Does Phenoxyethanol Compromise Emusions?

    Posted by Magnolia2190 on May 6, 2024 at 6:03 am

    I use Phenoxyethanol as a preservative and I’m always a little concerned when adding it to an emulsion during the cool-down phase because it immediately causes the thick substance to become very loose/watery. The emulsion eventually recovers its viscosity with more blending, but I wonder if using it compromises my emulsions. I know it’s also used as a solvent in some products. Is there a better way to incorporate it without this happening? Thanks so much for any insights you can offer.

    ketchito replied 1 week, 2 days ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • ketchito

    May 6, 2024 at 8:54 am

    All polar solvents will cause the same issue to emulsions. Just add it with slow mixing (no shear) between 60-50°C. Since at this stage, your emulsion has some “memory”, it’ll recover…but don’t add it below 50°C.

    • Magnolia2190

      May 6, 2024 at 9:00 am

      Thank you so much! I will give that a try 😀

    • Abdullah

      May 7, 2024 at 7:03 am

      @ketchito i also add phenoxyethanol the product is a bit hot because it takes to much time to dissolve in cold water or emulsion but when you said emulsion memory, will it not go to emulsifier phase rather than water phase if we add it between 50-60°c?

      If it goes to emulsifier phase the will it not make it less effective preservative than it being in water phase?

  • ketchito

    May 10, 2024 at 6:11 am

    @abdullah Sorry for the late reply. Phenoxyethanol is fairily soluble in water at the usual dose in cosmetics, so you shouldn’t have any issue to add it at any time, unless your product got too thick during cool down. When added in the cool down, since emulsion packaging is alrrady tight, it’ll go to the free water which is where you need it most, and part will find its way also into the micelles (that’s why you usually experience a viscosity drop).

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