Table Of Content
Table Of Content
When delving into the intersection of medical science and the internet, it's wise to approach information with a degree of skepticism. For some, a mere suggestion of doubt about an ingredient prompts its immediate exclusion from their skincare routine. Others, however, prefer a more thorough investigation before bidding farewell to a cherished beauty product. Consider propylene glycol, for instance. A cursory online inquiry yields terms like "carcinogenic," "toxic," and "antifreeze"—not exactly reassuring for a component commonly present in skincare items.
To address these weighty allegations, we undertook a diligent exploration to uncover the potential merits and drawbacks of propylene glycol, aiming to demystify its actual cleanliness. Keep reading, and empower yourself to make an informed decision on whether to persist with products featuring this skincare ingredient.
Propylene glycol stands as a colorless, scentless liquid entirely soluble in water. As per dermatologists, it is a synthetic substance created by introducing water to propylene oxide, itself derived from petroleum products. Its versatility shines through as it serves various roles, acting as a humectant, preservative, solvent, or emollient in an extensive range of formulations—including creams, lotions, serums, shampoos, and a myriad of other personal care products.
Propylene glycol is a prevalent ingredient often employed as a carrier for various cosmetics and therapeutic products, primarily functioning as an emollient and emulsifier. Here are its key roles:
While propylene glycol may not be suitable for everyone, the concerns surrounding it are not as ominous as online narratives might suggest. The apprehension often stems from its petroleum derivation, leading to fears of carcinogenicity and toxicity in skincare applications. However, it's crucial to distinguish between cosmetic-grade petrolatum and commercial petroleum—propylene glycol falls into the former category and is not carcinogenic. The safety of a chemical is primarily determined by its final structure, and in this regard, propylene glycol is considered non-carcinogenic, making it a common ingredient in many topical cosmetic products.
However, propylene glycol is not entirely benign. It earned the title of the American Contact Dermatitis Society's Allergen of the Year in 2018. If you notice a red, itchy rash in areas where you apply your skincare products, propylene glycol may be the culprit. It has a proclivity for causing irritation and genuine allergic skin reactions, manifesting as redness, flaking, or burning. Additionally, it can be comedogenic, potentially clogging pores and triggering acne outbreaks.
While generally safe, individuals with sensitive skin should exercise caution. Those prone to eczema are advised to conduct a patch test by applying the product to the inner wrist or forearm for a few days before applying it to more sensitive areas like the face. For individuals diagnosed with a true allergic contact dermatitis to propylene glycol, avoidance of products containing it is recommended.
Well, for the majority of users, products incorporating propylene glycol are safe. Given our current understanding and years of use in cosmetic formulations, propylene glycol is considered a safe ingredient, assuming no allergic reactions are present.
Due to propylene glycol's widespread presence in numerous products, there isn't a singular prescribed method for its use. Instead, it is advisable to follow the guidance of your dermatologist or adhere to the instructions provided by the manufacturers when using products containing this ingredient. In terms of frequency and quantity, propylene glycol is generally deemed safe, even when employed in relatively substantial amounts.
Any kind of active skincare ingredient you incorporate in your skincare routine, you need to carefully look into the details before buying or adding that into your skin. These tips are highly researched throughout the internet and can be trusted for all kinds of skin types and textures.