Skin Care

Propylene Glycol in Skin Care: Safety, Benefits, Side Effects

Propylene Glycol in Skin Care: Safety, Benefits, Side EffectsShare on Pinterest
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If you have at any time scanned the component label on your bottle of lotion, shampoo, or even serum, you might have recognized the ingredient propylene glycol.

This colorless, odorless, syrupy liquid is h2o soluble with hydrating houses, so it’s a common additive in a vast assortment of skin treatment products and solutions.

But there is some amount of controversy around propylene glycol — which is also recognized as 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol — significantly when you analysis it on line.

You’ll find it detailed on the Agency for Harmful Substances and Condition Registry (ATSDR), which could worry you. But as the company points out, this artificial substance can aid absorb surplus drinking water and maintain humidity in medications, cosmetics, and even meals products and solutions.

So, what’s the authentic tale? Here’s what to know about the function of propylene glycol in skin care products and solutions.

Dependent on where you research, you could come across alarming language in relation to propylene glycol, like terms like “toxic” and “carcinogenic.” There’s some reasoning behind this language: Propylene glycol is often derived from petroleum.

But Joshua Zeichner, a board certified skin doctor and an affiliate professor at the Mount Sinai Healthcare facility in NYC, clarifies that due to the fact beauty-quality petrolatum (petroleum) isn’t the similar as professional petroleum. So, this isn’t a explanation for worry.

Purvisha Patel, a board certified skin doctor, agrees. She explains that individuals most likely imagine it is unsafe, mainly because it is formed by including water to petrolatum, but both equally of these elements are secure.

Patel claims propylene glycol is inert, or chemically inactive, and there is no explanation to stay away from it in your beauty and skin treatment merchandise.

The Environmental Operating Group gives propylene glycol a “fair” score and notes that it poses no hazard of cancer or developmental and reproductive toxicity. But it does accept an association with discomfort and get hold of dermatitis, even in concentrations as low as 2 %.

Chemical, foodstuff, and pharmaceutical industries usually use propylene glycol as an additive. In accordance to the ATSDR, it is incorporated in:

  • coolants
  • antifreeze
  • plasticizers
  • heat transfer and hydraulic fluids
  • smoke screens and simulators

Given these makes use of, it tends to make sense that you may worry when you see the identical ingredient in your favorite lotion.

“But the reality is that a lot of products and solutions have propylene glycol, and they are safe to use for the normal population,” Zeichner suggests.

Propylene glycol is an ingredient in many lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, deodorants, and far more.

What makes it these types of a well known component? Below are a several important reasons.

It’s a preservative

Propylene glycol can support lengthen the shelf daily life of pores and skin treatment items many thanks to antimicrobial attributes that assist avert the overgrowth of microorganisms. This allows maintain the items.

It is a humectant

“At minimal stages, propylene glycol is frequently made use of to improve moisturizing gains of a pores and skin care products, as it has a higher affinity for water,” Zeichner says.

Humectants pull drinking water into the skin and support continue to keep it there for far more supple, hydrated pores and skin. That is why propylene glycol is usually utilised in moisturizing formulations.

It makes other ingredients extra efficient

Energetic ingredients can superior penetrate the skin, many thanks to propylene glycol. To set it yet another way, your favored serum may well get the job done perfectly since of the added benefits of this additive.

Even though propylene glycol is pretty prevalent, the component will not work well for all people.

“The dilemma with propylene glycol is that it not uncommonly will cause allergic reactions in the pores and skin, recognized as call dermatitis,” Zeichner describes.

You could perhaps acquire a rash when using a product with propylene glycol if you:

In accordance to Zeichner, this is the main rationale why propylene glycol has made a damaging name.

Patel notes that dermatologists can take a look at for sensitivities or allergy symptoms to propylene glycol.

If you are concerned you may have a reaction to this ingredient, or if you’ve discovered a rash or other reaction soon after applying a products containing propylene glycol, it is a excellent thought to connect with a skin doctor.

Find out a lot more about how dermatologists can help diagnose and handle pores and skin disorders.

Some pores and skin care solutions can lead to undesired reactions.

It is often best to prevent utilizing a new item and check out with a skin doctor if you recognize:

  • inflammation, inflammation, bumps, or hives
  • pores and skin discoloration
  • itching or stinging
  • bumps or hives

Patch screening when you try a product or service for the to start with time can aid you establish if your pores and skin will tolerate the products.

To patch examination:

  1. Utilize a modest quantity of the product or service to an area of skin near exactly where you’ll be making use of the products. You could possibly, for instance, examination a physique lotion on your interior elbow, and a facial moisturizer driving your ear or along your jaw.
  2. Wait at the very least 24 hrs.
  3. Look at the space for any changes, like inflammation, itching, or irritation.
  4. If you never see a reaction, you can go forward and use the item.

Propylene glycol is found in countless numbers of pores and skin and private care products and solutions, so you could possibly by now be working with it with no even knowing.

If you imagine you may possibly benefit from the moisturizing, smoothing added benefits of this additive, listed here are a several goods to take into consideration:

You’ll locate propylene glycol in a good deal of skin treatment and natural beauty merchandise, especially products developed to moisturize.

This component is usually thought of safe, even useful — while you could possibly want to test it with caution if you have sensitive pores and skin or eczema.


Jessica Timmons has been operating as a freelance author since 2007, masking all the things from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, physical fitness, martial arts, dwelling decor, and a great deal extra. Her perform has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & New child, Modern Dad and mom Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.

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