wrote in this post: Are phosphate esters derived from chemical or organic? Are they safe in beauty products?
As there are really two questions here, let's take a look at each one. The quick answers are no, and yes.
From the post: Phosphate esters are a category of anionic surfactants that include alkyl phosphates and alkyl ether phosphates. We don't use phosphate esters in our bath & body products much as they are generally used in household cleaning products due to their low pH. They are very mild to the skin and might show up in facial or body cleansing products.
To answer the first question - phosphate esters, along with everything in the world, is a chemical. It is composed of elements, and is therefore a chemical. Technically, because it contains carbon, it is considered an organic chemical.
But I don't think this is what you mean. I think what you mean is it is organic in the sense of being "certified organic", and my answer would be no. I wouldn't consider any surfactants as being organic because of all the processing they go through with various other ingredients, but I think there are some that might qualify under some standards (I don't know about these standards as it isn't something I've researched, but you can do a search online to see if you can find some information.)
As for the question about safety - yes, they are considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredients Review by their standards.
I'm asked this question regularly - is this or that ingredient safe? - and I have two answers for you. Check the "safe as used" list from the Cosmetics Ingredients Review (link above) and see if it is and at what level. If it's safe as used, this means that a reputable body somewhere did a study and found it was safe or not unsafe.
I know we read all the time about the horrors of "toxic chemicals", "chemicals", toxins, and so on, but always question your source and why they're saying something is bad or good for you. I know that science can't explain everything, but we do know that neither GSE (grapefruit seed extract) nor love are preservatives and there is no evidence that SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) causes cancer, for instance. (We don't know about 85% of the bacteria that is found in our intestines or every chemical found in garlic, two things I find fascinating!)
These are my sources, in case you're curious...The Handbook of Cosmetic Science & Technology (3rd edition), Chemistry for Pharmacy Students, Surfactants in Personal Care and Decorative Cosmetics, Poucher's Perfumes, Cosmetics & Soaps (10th edition), as well as Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry and Surfactants. I refer to the web (scholar or books) for more information, and use Ebsco and the search engine at the university and library. I also refer to the manufacturer's data bulletins. I supplement my research with visits to various cosmetic science sites.
I don't consider writing a blog post about something unless I've found the information confirmed in at least two reputable sources. If I'm wrong, I admit it and correct the blog post.
I feel that I do my homework before I write about an ingredient, and I like to know everything I can about it before I even consider a blog post. I like to experiment with the ingredients - although some are too expensive or too obscure for me to source - and I like to give you my opinion (which you can take or leave as you wish!).
Here's a past rant about defining your products by what's not in it and a post on how to research ingredients, which is less ranty.
Would I use phosphate esters in my products? Sure, if I could find them to buy, but I haven't been able to source them anywhere. I would want to raise the pH to a decent level, though.
Join me tomorrow for more questions!