Propylene Glycol is an ingredient found in numerous cosmetic formulations and personal care products such as foundations, shampoo and conditioners, lip balms, facial cleansers, soap, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, fragrances, hairspray, shaving cream, baby wipes, serums, and even nail glue—to name a few.
Because Propylene Glycol is a prominent ingredient in cosmetic and hygienic products that we use daily, it is important to be informed on what it is, what it does, and how it benefits or affects our bodies.
What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene Glycol is an organic molecule that belongs to the same chemical group as alcohol. It is a colorless, odorless liquid that is completely water-soluble, and specifically functions as a hydration preservative, or humectant, in cosmetic products.
Being such a versatile component, here are some of the roles or functions Propylene Glycol plays in cosmetic and personal care products:
- Acts like a humectant – binds water to promote hydration and moisturize the skin. 
- Enhances the delivery and penetration of other active ingredients to make them more effective as they are absorbed by the skin. 
- Due to its moisturizing properties, it prevents water loss and promotes a smooth, soften skin, while lessening the appearance of marks and acne spots. 
Propylene Glycol Vs. Ethylene Glycol
There are two main types of glycols: Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. Although they are commonly mistaken for each other, they are remarkably different.
Ethylene Glycol is a synthetic liquid that absorbs water that is odorless and has a sweet taste. It is an industrial compound found in consumer products such as antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluids, paints, plastics, ballpoint pens, and many other products. 
Unlike Propylene Glycol, Ethylene Glycol is highly toxic for humans. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ethylene Glycol is a toxic agent that can have severe neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal effects on the body. In addition, if Ethylene Glycol ingestion is not detected promptly, it can lead to fatal toxicity. 
Propylene glycol, however, is “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use in food and tobacco products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. [lbid]
The safety assessment of Propylene Glycol done in 1994, published in the Journal of American Toxicology, and the reassessment performed in 2012, published in the International Journal of Toxicology, both concluded that Propylene Glycol in cosmetic products is safe for use at a 50% concentration . Nowadays, cosmetic products use Propylene Glycol in concentrations of 10% or less. Brite uses a concentration of less than 4%.
Why is Propylene Glycol in Brite?
Propylene Glycol was implemented as one of Brite’s ingredients with the purpose of helping ingredients combine, such as water and some of the oils, without compromising the benefit and quality of the product.
Green Apple Stem Cell, for instance, is one of the main products in Brite, yet it is particularly difficult to mix with other ingredients. Propylene Glycol allows for the combination of such an important ingredient without affecting the benefits of the ingredient to the overall formulation.
At Solex, we are committed to providing our customers with premium products made from high-quality ingredients. We are dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of everyone that uses our products.
Our commitment to this belief starts by only utilizing ingredients that have been determined to be safe in the cosmetology industry, the FDA, CDC, and other qualified sources, to ensure that our products meet the highest safety and quality standards.
-  Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity: What is Propylene Glycol? | Environmental Medicine | ATSDR. Atsdr.cdc.gov. (2022). Retrieved 21 March 2022, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/ethylene-propylene-glycol/propylene_glycol.html.
-  Ethylene Glycol: Systemic Agent. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Retrieved 21 March 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750031.html.
-  Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity: What is Ethylene Glycol? | Environmental Medicine | ATSDR. Atsdr.cdc.gov. (2022). Retrieved 21 March 2022, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/ethylene-propylene-glycol/ethylene_glycol.html.
-  Fiume, M., Bergfeld, W., Belsito, D., Hill, R., Klaassen, C., & Liebler, D. et al. (2012). Safety Assessment of Propylene Glycol, Tripropylene Glycol, and PPGs as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal Of Toxicology, 31(5_suppl), 245S-260S. https://doi.org/10.1177/1091581812461381.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 1030, Propylene Glycol. Updated Oct 10, 2020.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity. Updated December 10, 2013.
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