Phenoxyethanol is an organic compound often used in skin care products. It can be synthesized by etherification of ethylene glycol and phenol. It is common in skin care cream and sunscreen. Phenoxyethanol is a colorless and slightly viscous liquid with aromatic smell. It is slightly soluble in water and easily soluble in ethanol and sodium hydroxide.
It has antibacterial effect (generally used with quaternary ammonium salt) and is often used as a substitute for highly toxic sodium azide in biological buffer solution because 2-phenoxyethanol is less toxic and chemically inactive to copper and lead. It usually plays the role of preservative in cosmetics, skin care products, vaccines and drugs.
Phenoxyethanol, as a drug for surgery; Disinfectants and antiseptics - alcohols. This product has strong killing effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and weak effect on other gram-negative and positive bacteria. Its 2% solution or emulsion can be used to treat surface wounds, burns and abscesses caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
Phenoxyethanol can be used as fixative in perfume, insect repellent, external disinfectant, solvent of cellulose acetate, dye, ink, resin, preservative and other medical purposes. In addition, it is also used as an anesthetic for fish in aquaculture. It is also listed by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention as one of the components of a variety of American vaccines. In Japan, the use of phenoxyethanol in cosmetics is monitored.