Origins and Effects of PG.

Features of propylene glycol:

-Serves as a solvent

-Connects and stabilizes insoluble fluids (emulsifier)

-Helps to bind and transport other substances (excipient)

-Holds and dissolves active ingredients equally in a medium

-Attracts/holds water/moisture (hygroscopic)

-Reduces the freezing point

-Increases the boiling point

-Offers outstanding stability with high flash and boiling points

By emulsifying (mixing) active ingredients, which otherwise would not mix with one another, the propylene glycol creates a stable homogeneous fluid that will allow the intended final product, be it a face cream or shampoo, for example, to do its job.

Applications of propylene glycol:

-To carry flavors in food and drinks

-To make face creams, body lotions, deodorant-sticks, lipsticks and many other cosmetic articles soft, moist and consistent

-To stabilize foams in cosmetic and healthcare products

-To help pet and livestock feed retain its moisture and taste

-To act as a carrier of active ingredients in vaccines, cough relief syrups or gel capsules to help deliver this substances within the body for treatment and prevention of diseases

Applications of propylene glycol in cosmetics and toiletries include products in:

-Personal care: bath and shower soaps, gels, face cleansers, shaving foams, after shave, antiperspirant deodorants, roll-ons, sticks, lipsticks, fragrances, perfumes

-Skin care: hand, body and facial moisturizers, sunscreen products

-Hair care: shampoos, conditioners, styling gels

-Oral care: mouthwashes, toothpaste

-Baby care: wipes, antiseptics


Propylene glycol has been approved for use as a food additive. In direct food contact it is mainly used as:


-Solvent and carrier of flavor or color in the food and beverage manufacturing processes, to make drinks, cookies, cakes, candy

-Thickener, clarifier and stabilizer in food and beverage such as beer, salad dressings or baking products

Applications of propylene glycol as pet and cattle feed additive* include its use as a(n):

-Humectant to provide moisture and taste. ” A humectant is a substance with the ability to attract and hold water in a formulation ”

-Solvent, stabilizer and preservative to keep the feed suitable for longer use

-Additive for increased energy provision

  • * Not approved for use in cat food

Some Pharmaceutical applications include:

-Therapeutic drugs and medicines, such as vaccines or cough syrup

-Local anesthetics


-Vitamins and hormones