Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that does occur in nature, for example in the seeds of some citrus fruits. For commercial use it is synthesized as the cost of extracting it from natural sources would be too high both in terms of financial cost and valuable food source. Phenoxyethanol is very well tolerated and we are not aware of any reports of adverse effects from its use in cosmetics and personal care products. It also biodegrades readily and has minimal adverse effect on the environment. Phenoxyethanol is on the list of preservatives permitted by Soil Association and Organic Food Federation for use in cosmetic products.
Due to customer demand we have gradually replaced Phenoxyethanol with other more natural preservatives, and now do not use it in any products available in the US.
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