Find products and ingredients Learn how Skin Deep® works Meet our experts Discover EWG VERIFIED™

Data: Fair

Propylene Glycol

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Enhanced skin absorption, Use restrictions (low), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high)

SYNONYMS

1,2-DIHYDROXYPROPANE, 1,2-PROPANEDIOL, 2-HYDROXYPROPANOL, METHYLETHYL GLYCOL, PROPANE-1,2-DIOL, and PROPYLENE GLYCOL

Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • MODERATE
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • LOW
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

Expand content Collapse content
shampoo281 products
hair color and bleaching274 products
conditioner266 products
concealer226 products
antiperspirant/deodorant219 products
foundation201 products
mask200 products
facial moisturizer/treatment188 products
moisturizer171 products
hair treatment/serum171 products
hair styling aide165 products
body wash/cleanser159 products
lip balm154 products
mascara147 products
serums & essences129 products
hand sanitizer120 products
facial cleanser119 products
styling gel/lotion109 products
liquid hand soap106 products
recreational sunscreen106 products
sunless tanning97 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)89 products
exfoliant/scrub86 products
body spray85 products
eye liner83 products
mouthwash78 products
bar soap72 products
eye shadow70 products
makeup primer66 products
daily use with SPF63 products
brow liner61 products
setting powder/spray58 products
fragrance for women49 products
eyelash glue47 products
hair spray40 products
BB cream37 products
body firming lotion36 products
toners/astringents35 products
styling mousse/foam34 products
lip gloss34 products
hand cream34 products
makeup remover33 products
hair-loss treatment32 products
around-eye cream28 products
shaving cream27 products
toothpaste26 products
fragrance for men25 products
foot moisturizer24 products
baby wipes24 products
polish remover24 products
detangler23 products
baby sunscreen21 products
anti-aging20 products
CC cream18 products
after shave17 products
after sun product17 products
blush17 products
bronzer/highlighter15 products
nail treatment14 products
glitter14 products
bubble bath11 products
skin fading/lightener10 products
foot cleansing10 products
hair relaxer10 products
tooth whitening9 products
bath oil/salts/soak9 products
muscle/joint soreness9 products
lipstick8 products
body oil8 products
nail polish8 products
8 products
baby lotion7 products
lip balm with SPF6 products
pore strips6 products
beard care5 products
shaving cream (men's)4 products
baby toothpaste4 products
damaged skin treatment4 products
foot odor control3 products
eye makeup remover3 products
other eye makeup2 products
baby oil2 products
depilatory1 products
lip plumper1 products
diaper cream1 products
baby soap1 products
baby shampoo1 products
body powder1 products
nail glue1 products
beard cleanser1 products
other men's products1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Penetration enhancerCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as skin irritantNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of skin and immune system toxicity or allergiesOpen scientific literature

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Use restrictions

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Data gaps

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Safety assessment was based on related chemicalCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
5589 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Not likely to be a any toxicant in humansNTP - Risks to Human Reproduction

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status

Informational

Expand content Collapse content
CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Determined safe for use in cosmetics up to a specified concentration limitCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • NTP (National Toxicology Program). 2006. NTP Center for the Evaluation fo Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR). NTP-CERHR Reports and Monographs.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

Can’t find your product?

Enter the ingredients in EWG’s Build Your Own Report tool to get an approximate score for that product.

BUILD YOUR OWN REPORT

EWG research
on the go

Find personal care, cleaning, and food products on the EWG Healthy Living app.

DOWNLOAD THE APP