I am passionate about sharing ingredient knowledge… not to scare anyone, but to bring awareness to the fact that the U.S. cosmetic regulations are nonexistent and there ARE safe alternatives. 

So it’s time to learn more about what’s IN your products, and up first today: Phenoxyethanol. “Fi-nox-ee-ethanol” is a common personal care preservative. It is a bactericide and has recently been widely used to replace parabens, especially in “natural” products. Sneaky, huh?! Phenoxyethanol has been found to be toxic to the body even in small doses…


In order to create it, the known skin carcinogen, “ethylene oxide” is combined with a “phenol” (a chemical compound which is also considered a carcinogen). The process of combining the two may produce the dangerous by-product called 1,4 dioxane.

The EPA has established 1,4 dioxane is a human carcinogen.


The FDA describes it as being able to depress the nervous system. The product’s Material Safety Data Sheet says that it is harmful if inhaled or swallowed or absorbed through the SKIN and that it can cause reproductive damage. The Chemical Toxicity Database lists that phenoxyethanol may cause central nervous system depression, kidney damage, skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. If inhaled it may cause respiratory and digestive tract irritation. Japan has banned the use of it in all cosmetics… and so has Crunchi!!


Most commonly found in: mascara, lipsticks, “natural” fragrances, foundation, lotions, scrubs, and skincare.