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Propylene Glycol

* A versatile moisturizer * Also known as Propane-1,2-diol * Please read TIA's post on What Is It: Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol, a petroleum derivative produced by propylene oxide hydration, is a versatile ingredient used in over 4,000 products and formulas in the cosmetics and beauty industry as a moisturizer, skin conditioning agent, carrier in fragrance oils, solvent and viscosity decreasing agent. It is also a frequent food additive (as E1520) and is also found in deodorant sticks, toothpaste, mouthwash, tobacco products, and other industrial products such as anti-freeze and brake fluid (Wikipedia). It is responsible for the consistent texture of lipstick, the consistency of lotions and formulas that contain both oil and water, the long-lasting fragrance of perfumes, and the foaming action of shampoos, according to Propylene-Glycol.com. In skin and hair care products, Propylene Glycol acts by retaining the moisture content of skin or the formula, preventing the escape of moisture or water.

* A versatile moisturizer

* Also known as Propane-1,2-diol

* Please read TIA's post on What Is It: Propylene Glycol

Functions:

Propylene Glycol, a petroleum derivative produced by propylene oxide hydration, is a versatile ingredient used in over 4,000 products and formulas in the cosmetics and beauty industry as a moisturizer, skin conditioning agent, carrier in fragrance oils, solvent and viscosity decreasing agent. It is also a frequent food additive (as E1520) and is also found in deodorant sticks, toothpaste, mouthwash, tobacco products, and other industrial products such as anti-freeze and brake fluid (Wikipedia). It is responsible for the consistent texture of lipstick, the consistency of lotions and formulas that contain both oil and water, the long-lasting fragrance of perfumes, and the foaming action of shampoos, according to Propylene-Glycol.com. In skin and hair care products, Propylene Glycol acts by retaining the moisture content of skin or the formula, preventing the escape of moisture or water.

Propylene glycol is metabolized by the body into lactic acid, which occurs naturally when muscles are exercised, while ethylene glycol is metabolized into oxalic acid, which is toxic (Dermaxime.com).

Propylene Glycol is CIR and FDA approved, and has received the GRAS rating. The Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says "propylene glycol rarely causes toxic effects, and then only under very unusual circumstances" such as "excessively large or rapidly infused intravenous injections".

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

The Cosmetics Database finds Propylene Glycol to be a moderate hazard ingredient and has concerns regarding cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, irritation and enhanced skin absorption, and organ system toxicity. Lesser concerns include neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. There was limited evidence of skin, immune system or respiratory system toxicity, and the link to cancer as noted by the Cosmetics Database is based on in vitro tests that showed cell mutation, but not tumor development, in 1981.

Propylene Glycol is classified as an irritant by the National Library of Medicine, and the Material Safety Data Sheet lists it as a sensitizer that is slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator) or eye contact. Patients with eczema should use products containing Propylene Glycol with caution, as the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis to propylene glycol may be greater than 2% in patients with eczema (Wikipedia).

It can also enhance penetration of other ingredients, chemicals and toxins into the dermis as an absorption enhancer, increasing the potential for irritation. It is also used as the primary ingredient in transdermal patches, serving as a carrier for 'active' ingredients into the body. According to biochemist Dr. Vin on AntiAgingChoices.com, "PG penetrates the skin so quickly that the EPA warns factory workers to avoid skin contact, to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities."

It should not be applied to damaged or burned skin.

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