Let's talk about a multi-tasking cosmetic ingredient today - propanediol.
The versatile ingredient offers a plethora of skin benefits, including moisturization, effective cleansing and safety for sensitive skin. Thus, you will find it on the labels of a wide range of skincare products.
So, are you ready to find out what propanediol can do for your skin? Scroll down to read!
What Is Propanediol And What Does It Do?
Propanediol  refers to a colourless, three-carbon-diol liquid glycol extracted from corn sugar. You can safely say, it is a natural and safer substitute for the popular propylene glycol , known to cause skin irritation.
Propanediol works as a humectant (moisture retaining), solvent (ability to dissolve) and emollient (softener) in skin care products. It is used in different capacities such as moisturizers, serums, creams, lotions, cleansers, toners, eye shadows, antiperspirants, hair colours, eyeliners, foundations, etc.
Benefits Of Propanediol For Skin
1. Acts As A Solvent
Propanediol is a magnificent solvent for ingredients that are hard to dissolve, such as ferulic acid and salicylic acid. It can effectively dissolve almost every ingredient which is essential for optimal application. It has proven to be very useful for enhancing the composition of different product formulas.
2. Moisture Lock
In many skincare products, propanediol functions as a humectant. When used in any skincare products, it tends to pull the moisture from the air around you and lock it in your skin. This makes your skin smooth and healthy.
3. Softens Skin
Propanediol has emollient properties. It prevents your skin from damage by reducing water loss. This helps you get softer and smoother skin. The ingredient is a boon for people with dry skin.
4. Good For Acne-Prone Skin
Propanediol has deep cleansing powers, which helps remove dirt and oil from the core of your skin. This ensures that there are no clogged pores in your skin, making it ideal for people with acne-prone and sensitive skin. It also cleanses without stripping off your skin's natural pH.
5. Reduces Viscosity
Propanediol reduces the viscosity in cosmetics like cleansers, conditioners, shampoos, hair sprays, mascaras, foundations and body washes. It helps the formulas flow well and infuse all their benefits on your skin.
6. Preservative Booster
Propanediol also works as a preservative booster in a wide range of cosmetic products. It is used to improve the efficiency of the preservatives, so that the quality of the product remains intact.
7. Makes The Product Lightweight
Propanediol gives skincare products a lightweight texture and a non-greasy feel. This aids in easy application and quick absorption of products into your skin.
How to Use Propanediol?
Since propanediol is used in various types of skincare formulas, it does not have one particular way of application. How you should apply propanediol depends on the product you are using. For example, if you're using a cleanser with propanediol, it is natural that you'll wash it off after a minute. Similar, moisturizers can be left on your skin overnight.
Follow the instructions given on the specific product or do as directed by your dermatologist. Majority of studies suggest that propanediol is safe to include in your daily skincare regimen, unless you have extremely sensitive skin.
Propanediol Vs Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol and propanediol are often mistaken as the same ingredient. However, propylene glycol is a synthetic substitute for propanediol. They are not just different in structures, but their origin is also contrasting.
Propanediol is derived from corn while propylene glycol is found from petrochemicals. Even though propylene glycol is considered to be safe in most cosmetics products, propanediol is widely used as an alternative for propylene glycol, especially for those who want glycol free products.
Many studies have found propanediol to be a safer option than propylene glycol. Not many people have complained about skin irritation and sensitivity after using propanediol.
Side Effects Of Propanediol
Propanediol is safe in most cases, but it may cause skin sensitivity to a small fraction of people. A study  conducted in 2010 on the side effects of propanediol found that the possibility of skin irritation is minimal. The overall risk factor of propanediol skin reaction is low.
The United States Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) has certified propanediol as safe both for cosmetics and food products. Propanediol has also passed the examination and got approval from the Natural Product Association .
Who Should Avoid Using Propanediol?
You should avoid Propanediol if you are allergic to the ingredient. In case you have experienced allergy or sensitivity, discontinue use. Do a small patch test before opting for any new product to avoid skin irritation and redness.
Propanediol functions in many forms, such as solvent, humectant, emollient and viscosity reducer in a variety of skincare products. Also, propanediol has promising potential to be a safer ingredient than propylene glycol. It also makes your skin clean, soft, smooth and naturally glowing.
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