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Data: Limited

Phenoxyethanol

  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in product forms that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns. The score is lower if used in product forms that have lower risk of inhalation (e.g., solids, liquids)
  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in products intended for use around the mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption. The score is lower if used in products not intended for use around the mouth.
  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption. The score is lower if used in products not intended for use on lips.
  • This ingredient's score is higher if used in products that may not meet industry safety guidelines or U.S. and international government requirements. The score will be lower if used in products that meet these safety guidelines and requirements.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)

SYNONYMS

● 2-HYDROXYETHYL PHENYL ETHER
● 2-PHENOXY- ETHANOL
● 2-PHENOXYETHANOL
● 2-PHENOXYETHYL ALCOHOL
● ETHANOL, 2-PHENOXY-
● ETHANOL, 2PHENOXY
● ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOPHENYL ETHER
● PHENOXYETHANOL
● PHENOXYTOL

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

Expand content Collapse content
foundation1588 products
moisturizer1168 products
conditioner1103 products
facial moisturizer/treatment1024 products
eye shadow1009 products
concealer983 products
shampoo927 products
lipstick919 products
lip gloss696 products
mask679 products
hair treatment/serum636 products
serums & essences621 products
hair styling aide609 products
body wash/cleanser571 products
facial cleanser540 products
bronzer/highlighter500 products
eye liner493 products
brow liner470 products
blush460 products
exfoliant/scrub410 products
mascara402 products
daily use with SPF398 products
styling gel/lotion328 products
recreational sunscreen325 products
around-eye cream298 products
lip balm288 products
hand cream283 products
liquid hand soap253 products
hair color and bleaching246 products
makeup primer227 products
toners/astringents205 products
setting powder/spray176 products
sunless tanning146 products
CC cream130 products
facial powder128 products
makeup remover125 products
BB cream106 products
hair spray100 products
lip liner100 products
styling mousse/foam98 products
anti-aging95 products
body firming lotion93 products
shaving cream93 products
lip plumper86 products
nail polish73 products
detangler71 products
eyelash glue69 products
baby lotion65 products
63 products
bubble bath59 products
after shave57 products
antiperspirant/deodorant52 products
glitter46 products
baby wipes44 products
body spray41 products
body oil41 products
foot moisturizer40 products
bath oil/salts/soak40 products
hand sanitizer39 products
baby shampoo38 products
shaving cream (men's)37 products
baby sunscreen37 products
baby soap33 products
after sun product32 products
beard care28 products
beard cleanser27 products
nail treatment26 products
bar soap22 products
fragrance for women20 products
facial cleansing wipes20 products
body cleansing wipes19 products
skin fading/lightener18 products
makeup removing wipes16 products
foot cleansing15 products
tanning oil15 products
hair-loss treatment14 products
nail glue14 products
eye makeup remover13 products
muscle/joint soreness13 products
damaged skin treatment13 products
other eye makeup12 products
body powder12 products
foot odor control9 products
cuticle treatment9 products
pore strips9 products
diaper cream8 products
body art8 products
polish remover6 products
hair removal waxes5 products
baby bubble bath5 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)5 products
lip balm with SPF4 products
depilatory3 products
tooth whitening3 products
beard oil3 products
baby oil2 products
hair relaxer2 products
vapor rubs2 products
mouthwash2 products
oil controller1 products
fragrance for men1 products
other men's products1 products
hair perm1 products

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as irritantCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of nervous toxicityOpen scientific literature
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin and immune system toxicity or allergiesOpen scientific literature

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Wildlife and environmental toxicityOpen scientific literature
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
279 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED® mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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