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Q. I have bought a moisturizer mist that has the preservative called "optiphen". I can't seem to find much information on it, do you have any information? Thanks!

A.  Thanks for your question!

If your product is listing optiphen as an ingredients, it's actually illegally labeled.  Product should be labeled with the proper INCI name, while optiphen is the brand name of the ingredient.  Optiphen is a blend of polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, and caprylyl glycol.  (Source)

Caprylyl glycol is pretty innocuous, with not many known risks.

However, phenoxyethanol is known to be a skin irritant and possible estrogen mimicker.  You can read my full analysis here.

Polysorbate 20 is an ethoxylated compound.  This means that it was created using ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen, of which the finished product can contain traces, and its carcinogenic by-product 1,4-dioxane. You can read my full analysis here.

Thanks for your question!

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Reader Comments (1)

noticed on etsy in the natural & organic section a lot of stores are using this ingredient. Thankfully I asked one seller not to add it and they agreed.

Is there anything I can do to extend the shelf life? I know I may have to keep the product in the fridge. But is there anything else, is there truely a natural preservative out there?

If it helps I have rosemary and tea tree oils.


Wed, September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

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