Propylene Glycol

If you’ve ever tried to search up this ingredient, you will probably find that this ingredient is very popular in the F&B industry. Words such as ‘antifreeze’ is widely used to describe Propylene Glycol as an additive in food, but let’s come back to the cosmetic world shall we?

Propylene Glycol is a type of alcohol (don’t panic first!) commonly used in thousands of skincare products. This ingredient is used in small amounts in order to keep the products from melting at a high temperature, or from freezing if exposed to extremely low temperature. 

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The good stuff:

1. It acts as a humectant

As a humectant, the ingredient retains & preserves extra moisture on the outer layer of our skin, thus leaving our skin feeling hydrated while at the same time reduce flaking on very dry skin. It is also an emollient, which creates a layer on the skin in order to maintain the moisture in our skin. 

2. It improves the look of your skin!

Aging results in our skin losing a component called Neutral Moisturizing Factor (NMF) that can reduce our naturally produced humectants and will leave our skin feeling extremely dry. With this ingredient, it can restore the moisture that our skin is lacking, preventing it from being dehydrated & flaky. 


On the fence:

1. It helps other ingredients penetrate into your skin

Propylene Glycol has a special effect that allows penetration enhancement of other ingredients in a product into the skin. This poses as both a risk and a benefit. On the one hand, if there are harmful ingredients in the product, then it can help sabotage our skin. On the other hand, it can help strengthen the the absorption and effectiveness of the benefits from good ingredients. However, Propylene Glycol by itself is not harmful.


One downside:

1. Potential skin irritant

People with sensitive skin and eczema have to be cautious with this product! Although rare, it is found that this ingredient does cause rashes, itchiness and potential allergic reactions. Thus, as always, you should conduct a patch test when trying out new skincare products that contain Propylene Glycol!


Bottom line:

Don’t fret y’all! Despite how some websites/blogs claim that this ingredient is toxic, there are research done by toxicologists that states that it does NOT raise any health risk at all. It hydrates and it moisturizes, with only a slight chance of you being allergic to it. All in all, this ingredient does not deal any sort of serious damage!

In addition to that, this ingredient is considered to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the F&B industry. Hence, if it is recognized as safe to be ingested into our body, then rest assured if this product is present in your skincare product for topical uses.


NoteAll the information presented in my posts are based on my personal experience with the products & secondary research that I found online, either through journal articles, professional website or other credible blogs. I am neither a professional dermatologist nor a scientist, hence I am no expert. Please feel free to do more research instead of deciding on trying a product based purely on my posts to avoid any misunderstandings and mistakes!



What’s so terrible about propylene glycol?

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