What Is It?
Propylene glycol, also known as 1,2-propanediol, is a synthetic (i.e., man-made) Alcohols are a large class of important cosmetic ingredients but only ethanol needs to be denatured to prevent it from being redirected from cosmetic applications to alcoholic beverages. that attracts/absorbs water. It is a viscous, colorless liquid, which is nearly odorless but possesses a faintly sweet taste. Propylene glycol is one of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, including facial cleansers, moisturizers, bath soaps, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants, shaving preparations, and fragrances. In addition to its use as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products, it is used in numerous food items such as beer, packaged baked goods, frozen dairy products, margarine, coffee, nuts, and soda. It is also used as an inactive ingredient (e.g., Substances, usually liquids, that are used to dissolve other substances.) in many drugs. FDA has approved its use at concentrations as high as 98% in drugs applied to the skin and 92% in drugs taken orally.
Why Is It Used?
Because propylene glycol attracts water it functions as a Ingredients that slow the loss of moisture from a product during use. and is used in moisturizers to enhance the appearance of skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness. Other reported uses include skin-conditioning agent, viscosity-decreasing agent, solvent, and Substances that impart an odor to a product..
Propylene glycol was reported to be used in 14,395 products, according to 2019 data in U.S. FDA’s Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).
It’s interesting to note that in the human body, propylene glycol is metabolized into lactic acid, which occurs naturally when muscles are exercised. Propylene glycol is used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions.
CIR: In 2012, the U.S. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel reviewed the available literature and safety data for propylene glycol as used in cosmetics and personal care products. They concluded it is safe for use in cosmetic products when formulated to be non-irritating to skin.
FDA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes propylene glycol on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.) for direct addition to food. It is also permitted by the FDA as an Indirect food additives are additives that may become part of the food in trace amounts due to its packaging, storage or other handling. For example, minute amounts of packaging substances may find their way into foods during storage. for use as a defoaming agent.
NTP: In 2003, the National Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemical and physical agents on living organisms. Program’s (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction (CERHR) Expert Panel reviewed the reproductive and developmental effects potential of propylene glycol and concluded there is “negligible concern for reproductive or developmental toxicity to humans.”
European Union (EU)
Propylene glycol is listed on the EU’s Inventory of Cosmetic Ingredients (CosIng) and its use as a cosmetic ingredient is not restricted in any way according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..