Preservative 12


What does this mean?

Inci:Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

A versatile and effective, broad spectrum preservative suitable for leave-on and rinse-off formulations. It is palm-free, formaldehyde-free, vegan and biodegradable.


Preservative 12 is a clear, colourless liquid with a very slight odour.
It is stable across a wide range of pH values from pH 3 to pH 12.

It is only partially soluble in water-based products whilst more soluble in oil based products. It is best used in creams, lotions and serums.
It is fully effective in anionic, nonionic and cationic formulations. It is effective on gram negative and gram positive bacteria, yeasts, and mould fungi.
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Phenoxyethanol are: Preservative
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Ethylhexyglycerin are: Skin Conditioning
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight.


Use in formulations at 0.5% to 1%. In our formulations, we always use 1% unless part of the formulation includes herbal materials such as a tea infusion or decoction, then we use 1.1% which is also the maximum recommendation. Higher amounts than this have the potential to cause skin irritation.

It is not fully oil or water soluble so is best used with creams and lotions. When used in a water based product like a toner, it is more soluble if added to glycerin or sorbitol before being added to the toner. It can also be solubilised with Emulsifan.
It is stable at variable temperatures. We recommend adding it in Stage 3 in creams and lotions, or when the product temperature is under 40°C.
The ethyhexylglycerin content can destabilise weak emulsions. To avoid this, make sure your cream and lotions emulsions are stable before the preservative is added.
As it is colourless, it will not change the colour or affect the clarity of gels. It also has a very mild smell compared to some other preservartives, making it the preferred choice for unscented products.
The best method for measuring the preservatives (and all other raw materials) when adding to your products is to weigh them on an accurate scale that weighs down to 0.1 grams. You will find older formulations that use drops, but this is no longer accurate enough.
Skin Care
Use in treatment gels such as Aloe Vera or Hyaluronic Acid serums as well as all types of creams and lotions.

It can tolerate high salt content so is suitable for use in salt body scrubs. Body scrubs may be anhydrous and not be thought to need a preservative, but when they are used with wet hands in the bathroom environment, they should be preserved and Preservative 12 is an excellent choice for this.
Hair Care
Do not use with shampoos and body washes as it will not work. It works well with non-ionic, anionic and cationic materials that are used in hair care products like conditioners.
Hair care products often use a lot of herbs which are more prone to microbial contamination, so remember to increase the percentage of Preservative 12 if using infusions and decoctions to 1.1%.


Do not blend different preservatives with each other unless you are experienced in this area and can have the result tested for efficacy. If you are adding extra materials to a base product, you may need to add extra preservative as well. Ensure the same preservative as the base product is used.

We do not recommend this preservative for use with clays. We found in our tests, that the clay absorbed the preservative leaving the water element vulnerable to contamination.


Preservatives are needed for most cosmetic formulations that include water. There are some companies that have very stringent manufacturing procedures to ensure the hygiene of the product and the ratio of some of the materials may make the product quite stable against contamination. Shampoos can sometimes do this as they are often very alkaline, However, that alkalinity is not very comfortable on the scalp.

Vitamin E used to be referred to as a preservative because it preserved the shelf life of the product. However, Vitamin E only acts as an antioxidant for the oils in the product, preventing them from going rancid too quickly. It is not a preservative by today's accepted standards. For more information on the difference between preservatives and antioxidants, and the importance of preservatives in cosmetics, take a look at this article; Preservatives & Antioxidants in Cosmetics


Click on the links below to be directed to some great recipes featuring Preservative 12:

Customer Reviews
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A Aromantic UK Customer
29 October 2021
Callie F.
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great product

I love this preservative as it works really well.

12 October 2021
Sarah D.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product


Really easy to use. Gives peace of mind when making DIY makeup. Great customer service.

11 October 2021
Angela B.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

All good!

Very happy with products.

30 June 2021
margarita s.
Canada Canada


all perfect

11 June 2021
Mandi D.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Preservative 12

As always first class products, Recommend this company.

10 June 2021
North Macedonia North Macedonia
I recommend this product


Great product, and very fast shipping to North Macedonia. I will order this again.

04 May 2021
Indra S.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Great products

Friendly service and great products. Positive experience.

30 December 2020
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Excellent preserative

Great all round preserative, you need such small amount, so will last well.

23 September 2020
United Kingdom United Kingdom

My go to

This is an excellent product.

12 August 2020
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
I recommend this product


Great quality and very fast shipping! :)

22 May 2020
Lesley C.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Excellent Products

I always use this preservative and it’s great

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