Propylene glycol is a clear, colourless, syrupy liquid, which is odourless and tasteless. It is a synthetic liquid, absorbs moisture and is completely soluble in water. Propylene glycol comes from petrochemical sources.
Propylene glycol is used in the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. It has many uses and is a very versatile substance. This wide use means that much is known about the safety of this material. Propylene glycol, for example, is used in anti-freeze.
It is recognised as safe for use in foods, cosmetics and medicines. There have been no health concerns relating to it over the decades we have used it, or at any time.
Propylene glycol is a humectant, which means it helps the skin to absorb moisture. Its property of absorbing moisture allows it to do this. It helps to carry the water-based ingredients into the skin. In hair care products, it softens the hair and allows it to be combed through easily.
We use propylene glycol in our soaps to soften the skin, balancing the cleansing effect of the soap. We call this our ‘hot soap’, as it requires heat in the manufacturing process. The heat melts the ingredients, which are poured in to moulds and are left to set solid. We also make ‘cold soaps’, which are mixtures of ingredients pressed together to form their shape with no heat involved.
Stan Krysztal invented the ‘hot soap’ base. Stan was a great inventor and teacher who also worked on the shampoo bar base. His expertise lives on in so many of our products and we are greatly indebted to him. Stan’s choice of ingredients, including propylene glycol, was based on his vast knowledge of cosmetics. His career as a Cosmetic Chemist spanned 51 years from 1935 to 1992, when he passed away at the age of 86. The majority of our soaps are made with this principle.
We use propylene glycol in hair products. In our Veganese and Coolaulin conditioners, it allows the hair to be combed through more easily. In shampoo, it helps to smooth the hair after the shampoo base has cleansed it thoroughly. In combination with effective oils - such as olive, almond and jojoba - this helps to repair damage, increase tensile strength and protect the hair from dryness.
Our Sweetie Pie, The Joy of Jelly, and Whoosh shower jellies are made with propylene glycol. It balances the cleansing effect of the shampoo bases and works with the fruit and flower infusions of coconut, pineapple, tiger lily and rose. Propylene glycol does not freeze, so the jelly retains its texture in the fridge or freezer.
We use propylene glycol in moisturisers. In our Skin Drink facial moisturiser, it carries the rose petal infusion and aloe vera decoction into the skin.