Propanediol at a Glance
- Also known as 1,3-propanediol.
- Improves absorption of ingredients to their boost effectiveness in skin.
- May also be used as an emollient, solvent or as support for the preservative system.
- Can be derived naturally from corn or created synthetically.
- Considered a safe, well-tolerated ingredient, not likely to cause sensitivity.
Propanediol (also known as 1,3-propanediol) is a glycol that can increase the absorption of ingredients (such as salicylic acid) to improve their effectiveness. Additionally, it offers moisturizing properties that can result in a smooth, dewy finish as the formula sets. Propanediol is a considered a safe, well-tolerated ingredient, not likely to cause sensitivity.
Propanediol is a versatile ingredient with additional properties that make it a favorable choice in skin care products, including its ability to boost the effectiveness of a preservative system within a formula. It can also serve as a solvent in a blend of ingredients.
Propanediol can be derived naturally from corn or created synthetically. It is a colorless to pale yellow, viscous (somewhat sticky) liquid and is chemically similar to 1,2-propanediol (propylene glycol).
In June 2018 the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board reevaluated propanediol’s use in personal care products and concluded that it is safe. For leave-on products it was recorded in up to a 39.9% concentration (for a deodorant)—skin care products generally contain lower amounts than that.
PubChem Compound Summary, April 2021, ePublication
SpecialChem, Accessed April 2021, ePublication
Cosmetic Ingredient Review, June 2018, pages 1-73
Cosmetics & Toiletries, May 2013, pages 81-86
See propylene glycol
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