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Phenoxyethanol is a colorless, clear and oily liquid that is used in cosmetic products such as sunscreen and skin creams. Phenoxyethanol is produced by reaction between ethylene oxide and phenol at elevated pressure and temperature. Phenoxyethanol has intermediate water solubility and shows moderate evaporation rate. Phenoxyethanol is a bactericide and used simultaneously with ammonium compounds as a substitute for sodium azide due to its less toxic properties. In addition, phenoxyethanol is non reactive with lead and copper. It is used in numerous applications such as vaccines, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals products as a preservative. Phenoxyethanol is necessary to enhance the shelf life of cosmetics and personal care products. Phenoxyethanol can also be used as an alternative to potentially harmful formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. The activity of the preservative phenoxyethanol is effective in inactivating gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms and yeast.
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Phenoxyethanol is used in biological active agents such as bactericides, preservatives, fungicides, germicides, insect repellents and as an anesthetic agent. Phenoxyethanol is used in paints and coatings to improve fluidity, intensity, lustre and reduce film forming temperature. In addition, phenoxyethanol is used in perfumes as a fixative, as a solvent for inks, resins, dyes, pharmaceuticals and in organic synthesis. Furthermore, phenoxyethanol can be used as an anesthetic in the aquaculture of fish. Phenoxyethanol is listed as an ingredient for vaccines in the U.S., EU and Japan.
The continued expansion and growth of cosmetics industry is expected to increase consumption of phenoxyethanol. The increase in standard of living, rapid urbanization and rise in per capita income in emerging economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America is expected to boost spending on cosmetics and personal care products. Phenoxyethanol are popular as they are less toxic and have wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity. They are approved by the FDA for use in the cosmetics industry. However, availability of substitutes and government regulations could hamper the growth of this market. The future of preservatives in cosmetic industry is expected to be shaped by regulatory issues and consumer perception.
Asia Pacific is expected to the fastest growing market for phenoxyethanol due to increasing demand for cosmetics and personal care products. India and China are expected to be the largest consumers of phenoxyethanol due to presence of an established cosmetics industry. Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia are other major consumers of phenoxyethanol in Asia Pacific. In addition, emerging economies of Latin America and Middle East are expected to show incremental growth. Europe and North America are mature markets and expected to experience moderate to high growth.
The market is dominated by large and medium chemical and materials companies. Some of the key players in this market are BASF (Germany), Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), N V Organics Pvt. Ltd (India), Triveni Interchem Private Limited (India), Hangzhou Uniwise International Co., Ltd.(China), Zhejiang Weishi Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (China), Liaoning Kelong Fine Chemical Co., Ltd.(China), Yingkou Tanyun Chemical Research Institute Corporation (China), Eastman Chemical Company (U.S.), Chemsynth Corporation (India) and Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan) among others. The companies are using strategic acquisitions and mergers to increase their presence in emerginc economies of Asia Pacific. In addition, companies are investing in research and development to manufacture superior grades of phenoxyethanol. Furthermore companies are using aggressive marketing tactics to increase their market share and remain competitive in the market.
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