Also known under the name of phenoxytol or EGPhE, phenoxyethanol is a preservative of the family of glycol ethers, very widespread in cosmetic products (except organic or 100% of natural origin). Harmful to the liver and blood, it also presents carcinogenic risks and would cause dysfunctions of the hormonal system in humans, reducing fertility. Finally, it is a recognized allergen that can cause eczema and urticaria in intolerant people.
In addition to all these reasons to avoid phenoxyethanol, it presents serious dangers in children, for whom the tolerance threshold is much lower than in adults. The National Medicines Safety Agency recommends limiting its concentration to 0.4% in children’s products: currently, the regulatory limit is 1%. This recommendation is accompanied by another advice, supported by the French Health Agency: do not use baby wipes containing phenoxyethanol. Infants’ skin is more prone to penetration than adult skin, especially in premature babies. It is therefore strongly recommended not to apply products containing these types of ingredients to the child’s genitals.
Just like sulfated detergents and endocrine disruptors, all of these synthetic preservatives have nothing to do with cosmetic products. When shopping, therefore, choose organic products (labeled or not!) Or formulas 100% of natural origin, and take the time to consult the labels to make sure you choose healthy products.