Phenoxyethanol is an oily, slightly viscous liquid with a rose like odor. It is used in the formulation of skin care products to prevent and retard microbial growth. Phenoxyethanol is usually synthesized for commercial use, but it can also be found naturally in products such as green tea.
The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the safety of phenoxyethanol and approved its used as an indirect food additive and as a component of adhesives. Additionally, the Cosmetics Ingredients Review expert panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that phenoxyethanol was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. Phenoxyethanol is not mutagenic nor is it a cumulative irritant. It does not cause delayed hypersensitivity and was found to be non-phototoxic.
Cosmetics Info. (2015, June). Phenoxyethanol. Cosmetics Info. Retrieved from http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/phenoxyethanol