Artificial Preservatives – Phenoxyethanol
Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is commonly used by brands claiming to be “natural”. truthinaging.com recently reported that the FDA warned that this “natural preservative”, which is often used in cosmetics of all types (including shampoo and conditioners), can cause shut down of the nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.
Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether and is used as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics and also as a stabilizer in perfume, it is also commonly found in: paint, lacquer and jet fuel……just perfect for your morning cleanse!
Sciencelab.com’s Phenoxyethanol Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), states:
Potential Chronic Health Effects: Extremely hazardous in case of eye contact, very hazardous in case of skin contact, of ingestion or inhalation. The substance is toxic to kidneys, the nervous system, liver. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can product target organs damage. Repeated or prolonged inhalation of vapors may lead to chronic respiratory irritation.
Truthinaging.com goes on to say that Phenoxyethanol is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. The MSDS refers to 100% concentrations, so is it safe at lower doses? In cosmetics the concentrations are typically 0.5% to 1%. But tests have shown to cause irritation. There are several animal studies (yes those poor animals, this is not something we condone, nor are EverEscents Organic Hair Care products tested on animals, for that very reason) that demonstrate that it is toxic, with effects on the brain and the nervous system even at moderate concentrations.
Another irony is that it is showing up so frequently because manufacturers are trying to be paraben-free and Phenoxyethanol is being used as a not-so-safe alternative.