INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben (and) Isobutylparaben
Usage and phase: 1% heated water phase (dissolves around 60˚C to 70˚C)
Works within pH range: 3.5-7.5
Natural or synthetic? Synthetic
– gram positive bacteria? Yes
– gram negative bacteria? Yes
– mould? Yes
Further details: Popular effective preservative. Can be inactivated by some non-ionic emulsifiers, such as polysorbates, ceteareth-20 and strong hydrogen bonders such as ethoxylated compounds, cellulose gums, lecithin. Parabens are very oil soluble so tend to migrate to the oil phase, where their activity is greatly diminished, particularly if there are a lot of esters and vegetable oils so it may not be suitable for high oil loads in an emulsion. Parabens must be added to the water phase or they will remain in the oil phase and have reduced activity against bacteria and fungi.