A preservative to prevent mold and bacterial contamination in skincare formulas. It has been globally approved for use in cosmetics up to 1%, and considered very safe and effective when used at this level. It is backed by extensive research and safety assessments. The phenoxyethanol used in skincare products is considered a safe synthetic, although the same compound occurs naturally in green tea.
“Preservatives are absolutely necessary in almost all topical skincare formulations made with water, including cleansers, serums, creams and lotions, to prevent contamination. However, not all preservatives are gentle on the skin. Phenoxyethanol is one of my favorite preservatives because it is very effective even at low concentrations, but incredibly gentle even on the most sensitive skin. I have several patients who have had reactions to ‘natural’ preservatives, but tolerate phenoxyethanol beautifully. The incidence of a skin reaction to phenoxyethanol is rare, and I often recommend that my patients with rosacea and eczema look for products made using this preservative. If you see controversial comments surrounding this ingredient, those comments are not relevant to Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty products for two reasons: we use a highly-purified cosmetic-grade version of phenoxyethanol, and at very low concentrations (just enough to keep you protected).”
- Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Scientist, Founder