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Glycols


One of the most confusing ingredient when it comes to natural skincare.
Is it safe? is it accepted in natural skincare?

Glycols have got a bad name because of Polyethylene glycol aka PEG. Not all glycols are made same.

Now PEG is derived from Ethylene Glycol, which is the main culprit here. Ethylene glycol is synthetically processed from ethylene oxide, which is a super toxic and carcinogenic gas. Main problem with ethylene glycol is that in our body it is broken into oxalic acid which is toxic.

Glycols of higher molecular weight than ethylene glycols are safe to be sed in skincare.
These are:

  • Propylene Glycol (Propanediol)
  • Butylene Glycol (Butanediol)
  • Pentylene Glycol (Pentanediol)
  • Hexylene Glycol (Hexanediol)


Propylene Glycol is broken into lactic acid, which also happens after we exercise. These compounds are excellent humectants, like glycerin. However, these are much superior solvents than glycerin and you will find them in many water soluble plant extracts.

Caprylyl glycol is another example and is used to boost preservation activity. It is accepted in natural skincare.

These compounds are eco-friendly, Bio-degradable, some even Ecocert certified and nature derived (not natural).


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