What Is It?

Methoxyisopropanol, also called propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME), and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate, also called propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate (PGMEA) are colorless liquids. In cosmetics and personal care products, Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate are used in nail products.

Why Is It Used?

Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate function as solvents in nail care products. Methoxyisopropanol also functions as a viscosity decreasing agent.

Scientific Facts

Methoxyisopropanol is an aliphatic alcohol ether. Alcohols are organic compounds in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is attached to a saturated carbon atom. Methoxyisopropyl Acetate is an acetate derivative of Methoxyisopropanol.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Methoxyisopropanol on its list of indirect food additives. It is permitted for use as a component of adhesives. The safety of Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the data and concluded that Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate were safe for use in nail care products.

CIR Safety Review: Methoxyisopropanol was easily absorbed into the bloodstream upon inhalation or ingestion. The acetate ester was readily metabolized to Methoxyisopropanol in the body, which was excreted unchanged in the expired breath or in the urine as free or conjugated Methoxyisopropanol, or as the primary metabolite propylene glycol. In acute oral and inhalation toxicity studies, Methoxyisopropanol had low toxicity. In a 90-day dermal exposure study, 10 ml/kg undiluted Methoxyisopropanol produced narcosis and increased kidney weights.

No effects were observed at a dose of 7 ml/kg. Chronic (two-year) daily inhalation exposures to 3000 ppm Methoxyisopropanol produced signs of liver toxicity and some evidence of renal toxicity in laboratory studies. Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate were found to be non-irritating to slightly irritating and non-sensitizing to the skin.

Exposure to Methoxyisopropanol by inhalation produced no signs of carcinogenicity. In human inhalation exposure studies, 50 – 75 ppm Methoxyisopropanol vapor had an objectionable odor, 150 ppm was slightly irritating to the eyes and throat; 250 ppm produced eye irritation, lacrimation, blinking and headache; 300 ppm was mildly irritating to the eyes, nose and throat; 750 ppm was extremely irritating, and 2050 ppm produced extreme discomfort with severe lacrimation, blepharospasm, and painful breathing. None of the concentrations tested impaired motor coordination or performance on neurological tests. The irritating effects subsided within 15 minutes to 24 hours of removal from the inhalation chamber.

Because of the objectionable odor at concentrations lower that those that caused adverse effects, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that effects from inhalation exposure from use of Methoxyisopropanol in nail products was unlikely. Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate were safe for use in nail care products.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Methoxyisopropanol…

Methoxyisopropanol and Methoxyisopropyl Acetate may be used in cosmetic and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

The primary use of Methoxyisopropanol is in paints. Other names for Methoxyisopropanol include 1-methoxy-2-hydroxypropane, 1-methoxy-2-propanol and Propylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (PGME).


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:…

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory