The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 57-55-6
Chem/IUPAC Name: 1,2-propanediol
EINECS/ELINCS No: 200-338-0
COSING REF No: 37269
Propylene glycol is a humectant and is widely used in cosmetics and skincare to increase the moisture retention capacity of the products. It is a colorless, viscous liquid that is nearly odorless and has a faintly sweet taste. Formula of Propylene glycol is C3H8O2. This synthetic alcohol has the ability to absorb water and bring it to the outermost layer of the skin, thus enhancing the appearance of the skin by restoring suppleness and reducing flakiness. Products with Propylene glycol have very low volatility and do not irritate the skin. Other name for Propylene glycol is propane-1,2-diol.

What is PROPYLENE GLYCOL used for?

Propylene glycol is a humectant, a solvent, an emollient, and a preservative that is used in a variety of cosmetic, hair care, and skincare products such as serums, creams, lotions, and shampoos.
  • Skin care: There are immense benefits for skin. It has hydrating properties as it draws water from the skin and brings it to the outer layers to make the skin look healthier and more supple. Further, it can increase the shelf life of skin care products owing to its antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of microorganisms. To top it all off, Propylene glycol products are also anti-aging
  • Hair care: It instantly softens the hair - thus detangling them and making them frizz-free. Propylene glycol hair products help the hair in retaining moisture for a long time and prevent it from dryness and damage
  • Cosmetic products: It helps retain moisture in the skin and not make the makeup appear too cakey. It helps in reducing the thickness of the product and aid in even application


Propylene glycol is derived from either natural gas, petroleum, or vegetable sources. For obtaining from vegetable sources, glycerin and hydrogen are reacted together at high pressures and temperatures to result in propylene glycol. This is then purified and tested for quality.

What does PROPYLENE GLYCOL do in a formulation?

  • Emollient
  • Humectant
  • Preservative
  • Solvent
  • Viscosity controlling

Safety profile

Propylene glycol is recognized as a safe ingredient to be used in cosmetic products. However, it is best to do a patch test prior to usage and consult a dermatologist in case of any irritation or rashes. Apart from being safe, Propylene glycol products are also halal.


Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 188.2°C
Melting Point -59°C
pH 9.3-10.5
Solubility Miscible in water
Viscosity 42 cP
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