Is Phenoxyethanol safe in a product?

Modified on Thu, 08 Nov 2018 at 05:05 PM

There is a class of ingredients in all creams called preservatives. There job is to stop bacteria growing in the creams. Anything with water in it will grow bacteria. This is why our lip balm doesn't need a preservative because it is all oils. But the Kalme range and all of our creams are basically a highly sophisticated emulsion of water and oil.

Preservatives are all basically unpleasant ingredients. They are the cosmetic equivalent of bleach. We have to put bleach in our toilets or bacteria goes crazy over time. Many of us at Skin Shop use Ecover products. They are lower persistency but still essentially bleach. So the preservative has to kill bacteria in a product and regulations stipulate that a product should be able to sit on your shelf for three years and be safe.

We spend a lot of time trying preservatives and researching their effects but basically in higher doses they are almost always unpleasant. We use them at the lowest concentration we can and we source the lowest irritation and least toxic we can find. We believe that Phenoxyethanol is one of the mildest and kindest preservative we can find. It also interacts with the other ingredients in the creams in a way that we believe makes it very very low irritation.

The scare stories about preservative ingredients are mostly about higher concentrations or badly formulated usage. Almost all preservatives will cause skin irritation at high doses. It is not a correct argument biologically to say that because something is harmful at high doses it is bad or undesirable at low doses. In fact, the opposite is true in many instances. In that many elements vital for human health have a healthy and desirable lower dose and an unhealthy higher dose.

In sum, we do not have any concerns about it's use as a preservative. Furthermore we are confident it is probably the best preservative for this formulation and skin type.

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