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Data: Limited

Phenoxyethanol

  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

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, and PHENOXYTOL

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 Reingredientive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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foundation1958 products
eye shadow1235 products
moisturizer1132 products
lipstick1122 products
concealer1038 products
facial moisturizer/treatment963 products
conditioner880 products
mask845 products
lip gloss717 products
shampoo665 products
facial cleanser618 products
serums & essences586 products
body wash/cleanser521 products
daily use with SPF496 products
blush482 products
bronzer/highlighter481 products
hair treatment/serum458 products
mascara441 products
hair styling aide416 products
lip balm415 products
brow liner403 products
exfoliant/scrub386 products
recreational sunscreen365 products
eye liner345 products
hand cream291 products
makeup primer259 products
around-eye cream244 products
toners/astringents232 products
liquid hand soap226 products
styling gel/lotion219 products
hair color and bleaching217 products
setting powder/spray204 products
facial powder190 products
makeup remover169 products
CC cream132 products
sunless tanning130 products
BB cream130 products
body firming lotion103 products
lip liner101 products
shaving cream83 products
anti-aging77 products
76 products
bubble bath73 products
detangler71 products
glitter69 products
lip plumper66 products
eyelash glue65 products
hair spray62 products
baby lotion59 products
hand sanitizer58 products
antiperspirant/deodorant56 products
baby sunscreen55 products
foot moisturizer52 products
after sun product51 products
styling mousse/foam49 products
baby wipes48 products
beard care43 products
body oil42 products
body spray41 products
baby shampoo41 products
after shave35 products
shaving cream (men's)34 products
baby soap31 products
foot cleansing23 products
eye makeup remover21 products
bath oil/salts/soak20 products
beard cleanser19 products
bar soap18 products
lip balm with SPF17 products
muscle/joint soreness14 products
damaged skin treatment14 products
skin fading/lightener13 products
hair-loss treatment13 products
baby bubble bath12 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)12 products
body powder12 products
oil controller11 products
cuticle treatment11 products
nail treatment10 products
tanning oil10 products
nail polish9 products
diaper cream9 products
foot odor control8 products
pore strips7 products
fragrance for women6 products
other eye makeup6 products
body art6 products
beard oil6 products
hair relaxer4 products
polish remover4 products
hair removal waxes3 products
baby oil3 products
nail glue3 products
vapor rubs2 products
depilatory1 products
fragrance for men1 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

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

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

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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