Ingredient of the Week

a Salon Naturals blog

Propylene Glycol

Intended primarily for anti-freeze, brake fluid, and cleaning supplies, propylene glycol is used in cosmetics as well as many other industries to achieve a number of desirable qualities in products. In manufacturing environments, it is used as a solvent, de-icer, coolant, and a lubricant. Extremely popular among cosmetic manufacturers, the ingredient is frequently used in makeup and hygienic products such as toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, lotions and other cosmetics to maintain a moist consistency. This preserves the product and creates the illusion of hydration that consumers want. There are a number of pressing health concerns, however, that are should clearly concern companies who use propylene glycol in their products.

Recent links to asthma, eczema, and allergies have formed the curious disparity between what the CIR claims is a safe product, allowing a 50% concentration of propylene glycol in cosmetic products, and what it actually is. Many of the more conscientious cosmetic manufacturers, in fact, have begun replacing propylene glycol with other moisture-transporting agents to minimize the potential health risks of common, frequently used products. This action exposes two major observations: propylene glycol is understandably unsafe for use in cosmetic products, and there are an abundance of safe alternatives available to replace it right now.

Examining propylene glycol as a toxic agent regardless of its application is important for consumers of all kinds, as it only takes contact with the skin to manifest its adverse effects. Children especially are prone to developing respiratory problems, allergic reactions, arrythmia and even hypotension as a result of propylene glycol exposure. Conscientious consumers have two choices in quelling these negative developments: advocating for industry-wide replacement of propylene glycol and avoiding it altogether.

Learn more about propylene glycol and alternatives that are safer for you and your family. Please contact Salon Naturals with any questions about toxic cosmetics, healthy shampoos, natural, organic ingredients and safe bath products.


June 24, 2011 - Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yucky! | , , , , , , , ,


  1. I work in a lab and one of the chemicals we test in mice we have to dissolve in Propylene Glycol. It is a huge irritant to them and changes the texture of the skin from soft to rough and sometimes scabbed. I definitely don’t want to use this ingredient for myself!

    Comment by Mary | July 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment on this. I completely agree that this is an ingredient that DOES NOT belong on the skin!

      Comment by Salon Naturals | July 18, 2011 | Reply

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