Ought to You Keep away from Propylene Glycol?

Propylene glycol is an ingredient used in skin care and cosmetic products to improve the texture and stability of formulations, and to add water to the skin, giving your skin a radiant, moist appearance.

Propylene glycol belongs to a class of ingredients called glycols. Glycols have a bad rap in the beauty industry due to a misunderstanding about how they are made and derived. Petroleum propylene glycols, while this may sound scary, doesn’t tell you where the ingredient is, whether it’s safe or toxic. The cleaning process is highly regulated and designed in such a way that a safe ingredient is guaranteed.

Propylene glycol is found in a wide variety of products, including toothpaste, face masks, shampoos, serums, and moisturizers.

the breakdown

Propylene glycol

the good: Propylene glycol helps stabilize and thicken products. It can also have moisturizing properties that can give the skin a hydrated look.

not that good: It can irritate the eyes at high concentrations and if it comes into contact with the eyes. It can also cause mild skin irritation in people who are sensitive to propylene glycol. However, this reaction is rare.

For whom is that? All skin types except those identified as having an allergy.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients, but especially fatty oils like coconut and jojoba oils.

Keep an eye on: Look out for some other names that contain propylene glycol, like propanediol.

Why is Propylene Glycol used?

Propylene glycol is mainly used to improve the texture and feel of products, but it also helps improve the water content of the skin.

Propylene glycol is a solvent, which means it helps dissolve ingredients that cannot be easily dissolved in water-based formulations. This helps improve the consistency of ingredients throughout the product so that you can reap the benefits of the product every time you use it.

Propylene glycol is also a mild antimicrobial ingredient. This means that it prevents the growth of bacteria and mold in the product and acts as a mild preservative. Preservatives are an essential part of the formulation process as they ensure that the product is safe to use and is not affected by user contamination or exposure to air. When propylene glycol is added to a product, fewer other preservatives are needed to keep the product safe because of this added antimicrobial benefit.

Propylene glycol is commonly used to improve the water content of the skin. This is because propylene glycol is a Humectants Moisturizer that helps your skin retain moisture.

Is Propylene Glycol Safe?

Propylene glycol is safe for its approved uses in cosmetics and skin care. The Expert panel for the review of cosmetic ingredientsA group responsible for evaluating the safety and effectiveness of skin care and cosmetic ingredients reviewed propylene glycol. In their review, the panel of experts found that Propylene glycol is safe when used in accordance with current guidelines and for currently approved uses. No evidence has been presented to suggest reproductive problems, cancer, toxicity or cumulative toxicity.

Propylene glycol is not considered to be a skin irritant and therefore does not cause skin irritation. Occasionally people are sensitive to propylene glycol, which can cause irritation. However, butylene glycol itself is not an irritant.

There is much controversy surrounding this ingredient, with many in the green beauty world claiming that this ingredient is not safe to use for several reasons. One of the reasons concerns the synthetic production of propylene glycol and its derivation from petroleum. In the beauty industry in particular, it is often a misconception that something that something comes from says about its toxicity. That’s not the case. Butylene glycol has been tested for safety and has no cumulative toxicity and is safe for the uses indicated.

Another problem that is frequently raised is the use of propylene glycol as an antifreeze. Propylene glycol can help lower the freezing point of water and is used in antifreeze for this reason. However, it is another ingredient that is responsible for classifying the antifreeze as a hazardous ethylene glycol. While these two ingredients have similar names, the structure of a compound leads to significant differences in function.

Another problem that is common in safety assessments of many skin care ingredients is the sensitivity that occurs in the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process works with high concentrations of ingredients. Sometimes these high concentrations can cause irritation and sensitivity, and manufacturing safety guidelines reflect this. It is important to keep in mind that this is not necessarily the case with the low concentrations found in skin care products. Manufacturing policies are incredibly cautious as they are responsible for the safety and health of their employees.

References:Thelma G. Warshaw, Franz Herrmann, Studies on Skin Reactions to Propylene Glycol1, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Volume 19, Issue 6, 1952, pages 423-430.
CIR, 2012. “Safety Assessment of Propylene Glycol, Tripropylene Glycol and PPGs As Used in Cosmetics”, Panel of Experts on Cosmetic Ingredient Review.

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