Optiphen plus - preservative


I am making an UWB pomade (so wax, oil, water combination).

In my country Optiphen plus is hard to get. So i started to look into the individual component that make up Optiphen plus to make it myself. They are approximately:
phenoxyethanol (51%)
caprylyl glycol (42%)
sorbic acid (7%)

The second issue now is i cannot get caprylyl glycol.

As such, do you think would phenoxyethanol (at say 1%) + sorbic acid (at 0.5%) be sufficient to preserve in my pomade against bacteria, mold and yeast?

Do i need the caprylyl glycol? this is just an emoillent right? so if i exclude it, will my product be "thicker" due to the sorbic acid?

Thank you all for your help in advance!


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Caprylyl glycol is an antimicrobial (stronger against bacteria, hence the combo with sorbic acid) and a preservative booster. You could replace it with a similar multifunctional.
    Sorbic acid requires a low pH... just saying ;) .
    Optiphen plus isn't the only combo of 'modern/alternative' preservatives (it's one of the first, if I got that right, and made of rather old preservatives which 'by coincidence' hit the right spot between good efficacy and not on the 'ugly' list). IMHO its main advantage is availability and being quite well known. Given that availability is off your list, I see no point in trying to duplicate that blend.
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