Uses Of Phenoxyethanol In Insect Repellent And Antiseptic

Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether that finds its use in a variety of materials like antiseptic, preservatives, insect repellant, perfume fixative, and much more. The compound occurs naturally and can be manufactured synthetically as well. Having a pleasant odour, phenoxyethanol is a colourless liquid that exhibits antimicrobial properties. Being available in so many different areas, this compound holds great importance in both homes and industries. 


Insect Repellant

  • The search for an insect repellant can be confusing. However, phenoxyethanol has put an end to your dilemma. Being used in insect repellants, it makes the surface to be attacked unattractive for biting or any other activity. 
  • It helps in keeping the insects away but does not kill them. The high concentrations of such ingredients lead to a long-lasting effect of the insect repellants. The use of this repellent is a safe, practical, and effective solution to prevent yourself from any kind of insect-borne diseases.
  • It is also necessary to purchase a certified and examined insect repellant. Usually, the insect repellents that are EPA registered are considered safe to be used. It ensures that it is good to be used by children, pregnant women, or any other people of different age groups.
  • Phenoxyethanol is also known as Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl Ether. The chemical is a glycol ether and a bactericide. Phenoxyethanol acts as a disinfectant, antiseptic, or antibiotic. It is primarily used as a preservative in cosmetics and beauty products. It is used as a preservative in vaccines also. 
  • Phenoxyethanol is a much safer and skin-friendly and cruelty-free alternative to parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. These insect repellent creams and moisturizers have been thoroughly tested on people of all ages for both their bug-repellent properties and suitability for sensitive skins, including babies and infants. They are extremely safe to use.


  • The antiseptics find great use in the healthcare sector and are even kept in the houses to be used in case of injuries or other accidents. It is the primary substance to be applied for infection control.
  • Being an ether and aromatic alcohol, phenoxyethanol exhibits a wide range of anti-microbial activity and has been found effective against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Apart from this, the compound is also good to act against yeast.
  • Because of such anti-microbial properties, it is being used extensively as a preservative in medicines and hand disinfecting biocidal products. 
  • Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether that is used as an antibacterial preservative in cosmetics as well as a stabilizer in perfumes and other skincare products. Interestingly, although the phenoxyethanol used in skincare products is almost synthetic this glycol ether occurs naturally in green tea. It is used in a tiny quantity in Anti Bug Bite Moisturizers and insect repellent creams. 
  • Phenoxyethanol is used in topical antiseptic creams. These antiseptic creams are used for the treatment of traumatic, acute, chronic, surgical, and burn wounds. In addition to this these antiseptic solutions containing phenoxyethanol are used in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, acne lesions, and as the mucous membrane antiseptic.


Having so many benefits, this compound is fit to be used in industries and for household activities. It ensures safety and is good to be used in products used by people of all age groups.

What Are the Different Uses of Phenoxyethanol in Cosmetics?

Phenoxyethanol is a commonly used synthetic preservative with global acceptance for all beauty products at concentrations of up to 1%. It is also used in even lower quantities, such as when combined with other ingredients such as ethylhexylglycerin. In this case, lower concentrations of phenoxyethanol can be as significant as the maximum authorized quantity.

Phenoxyethanol is exceptionally versatile: it operates in a wide variety of formulations and pH ranges, has a wide range of action against many pathogens that you do not want to multiply in your skincare products safe, and is compatible with many other preservatives used in cosmetics.


Used as an Anti-Bacterial

Phenoxyethanol is potentially very toxic in cosmetic perfumes. It is harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, particularly by nursing mothers or infants. Phenoxyethanol can affect the brain and the nervous system. It irritates the skin and eyes and can cause blisters on the skin as well. Although many skin care products, including some organic products, use phenoxyethanol in small quantities that are not harmful to the skin; it may accumulate and potentially affect you if you use the product many times a day for the nervous system. It is antimicrobial and highly effective in preventing fungi, bacteria, and yeast from administering the medication.

Phenoxyethanol should not be used for sensitive skin people but used as a preservative against bacterial infections in beauty products.

Prolongs Product Shelf Life

The use of preservatives improves the safety of the goods and prolongs the storage of the product. Phenoxyethanol helps preserve product consistency because it does not interfere with other materials, air, or light.

Synthetic Preservatives

Phenoxyethanol is one of the most widely used synthetic preservatives in skincare and cosmetics and is also used as a fixative for perfumes. As a preservative, its purpose is to prevent microbial growth of skincare formulations. Usually, you can find it in water-based products or products where water can be added. Oil-based or anhydrous products, such as facial oils and balms, typically do not need preservatives, as microbes cannot thrive in these conditions. Companies can also advertise their goods as paraben-free, as many people know they’re staying away from parabens.

If you do not have an allergy to the ingredient, phenoxyethanol can be used every day in various products. Since the ingredient is used in such a wide variety of skincare items, the time of day you apply it and the phase in your routine depends on the product in question. Many companies and organizations would have you believe that phenoxyethanol is non-toxic at low concentrations, but studies have shown specific safety issues.

As an ethylated compound, phenoxyethanol can contain trace amounts of 1, 4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Although ingredients such as phenoxyethanol are required to protect water-based products from microbial development, it would be safer to use oil-based products instead of eliminating preservatives, emulsifiers, and other potentially harmful ingredients.