Propylene glycol in skin care products: A versatile moisturizer

February 2024
The Derma Check AI

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Propylene glycol in skin care

  • Type of ingredient: Humectant and solvent
  • Main benefits: Moisturizing, increases the absorption of other ingredients
  • Ideal for: Moisturizing products, suitable for most skin types
  • Frequency of use: Depending on the product formulation
  • Combination with: Many other skin care ingredients
  • Do not use with: Caution with sensitive or allergy-prone skin

What is propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol is an organic alcohol derivative that is used as a moisturizer and solvent in many skin care products. It helps to bind moisture in the skin and improve the absorption of other skin care components.

Benefits of propylene glycol for the skin

  • Moisturizing: Promotes moisture retention in the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated.
  • Carrier for other ingredients: Improves the absorption of other active ingredients by the skin, making them more effective.

Possible side effects

  • Skin irritation: Propylene glycol may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people.
  • Dries out the skin: If used excessively, it can dry out the skin.

Application recommendations

  • In combination with moisturizers: Propylene glycol is often an ingredient in moisturizers and lotions.
  • Depending on the product formulation: The frequency and quantity of application depends on the recommendations of the respective product.

How not to use it

  • Do not apply in pure form: Propylene glycol should not be applied to the skin in pure form.
  • Caution for sensitive skin: People with sensitive or allergy-prone skin should use products containing propylene glycol with caution.


1. is propylene glycol safe in skin care? In most cases yes, but people with sensitive skin should exercise caution.

2. can propylene glycol help with acne? It has no specific acne-fighting properties, but can improve the effectiveness of other acne ingredients.

3. is propylene glycol suitable for all skin types? Yes, but people with very sensitive or allergy-prone skin should be careful.


Propylene glycol is a versatile ingredient in skincare that is particularly valued for its moisturizing properties and for improving the absorption of other ingredients. It is suitable for most skin types, but people with sensitive skin or a tendency to allergies should be careful. In the right concentration and application, propylene glycol can be an effective part of a balanced skincare routine.

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The Derma Check AI
The Derma Check's AI has been trained with the help of numerous scientific studies. She specializes in cosmetic ingredients and their effects.