Monday, 12 November 2012

Know Your Ingredients | Phenoxyethanol

Thanks to the lovely and energetic Grace from All That Slap, I’ve become interested in what products I use and what ingredients are being used in said products. You honestly would not BELIEVE the dodgy and toxic ingredients used in some of your favourite beauty products!!!

Inspired by a recent article recently posted by Grace called 'Dangerous Ingredients in Our Beloved Beauty Products‘ I am going to start a series called ‘Know your ingredients’ which will go up under my new skincare tab on my header.
Kicking off this series, I am going to start with an ingredient I recently came across in one of my everyday cleaners called ‘Phenoxyethanol’. I can barely spell this ingredient, let alone say it but it is an ingredient popping up a lot in products at the moment

Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether, which is an organic chemical compound used in cosmetics as a preservative, as Cosmetics companies see it as a less toxic option when compared to Parabens or Formaldehyde. Now while you can find Phenoxyethanol in green tea, the cosmetic ingredient is NOT plant derived and is synthetically produce in a company.

There is a bit of a controversy over this ingredient as no one can agree whether or not this ingredient is perfectly safe or not.  Over exposure to Phenoxyethanol can worsen eczema, cause vomiting, contact dermatitis, and at its worse shut down the body’s central nervous system. Now before you start throwing away all your skincare products, the majority of these tests are use 100% concentrations on Phenoxyethanol and in cosmetics, the concentration varies between 0.5% and 1% and also none of the available test data is conclusive.

Now with everything, small proportions generally do not do any harm to your skin and current regulations advises that this ingredient should only be used in proportions under 1% so ALWAYS check your product ingredients to estimate what percentage is being used. Ingredients are always listed in proportional order, so if you see Phenoxyethanol really high up on the product’s ingredient list, then the manufacturer may be using more than 1%.

Obviously it’s up to you whether you choose to boycott this ingredient or not. I personally see it as a compromise as only moderate levels of this ingredient is dangerous. I’m not a natural and organic product extremist so I know I probably wont cut this product out completely, I think I’m fine using it on my face as it’s a small area of my body. I’m not comfortable with using moisturizing lotions that contain this ingredient on large surface areas as these absorb into the skin really quickly.

So what do you think about this product? It’s safer than Parabens and Formaldehyde but there is a potential for it not being 100% great for you.