Propanediol for Skin: Benefits & Side Effects! (2024)

beautiful woman is using serum which contain propanediol on face

When it comes to chemicals, we have to be very conscious. Because our skin is a very delicate and eye-catching part of our body. 

Let me guess, you are going to buy a particular serum or moisturizer containing propanediol and worrying about whether it is for you or not. Do not worry, I am here to cover all your concerns regarding propanediol for skin in these upcoming words. 

Just sit back and read on.

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What is propanediol?

Propanediol is a preservative and also a great substitute for propylene glycol. It is one of the main ingredients used in beauty and skincare products. 

Apart from cosmetics, it also secures a place in pharmaceutical treatments. It is a colorless and odorless preservative that works as a humectant (moisture-retaining substance).

It is procured from corn and works amazingly on the skin. 

Benefits of propanediol for the skin

This ingredient can be proven as a blessing for you. It is loaded with amazing benefits. Here are some of them.

  • Treats dehydration- If you are suffering from skin dehydration, it is for you. As I mentioned before, it has humectant properties and also it is miscible in water. This is the reason that it is able to retain hydration in your skin for a long time. According to research done in Brazil proves that it significantly improves skin hydration. This research was done on 30 females and the results were excellent in the matter of retention of hydration.
  • Increases softness- Apart from being a humectant, it is also an excellent emollient. It means it has the properties to make your skin look soft and also improves the elasticity of the skin.
  • Locks the moisture- If you are someone dealing with the problem of moisturizing your face again and again, hour by hour, you must try it. It locks the moisture thoroughly and deeply throughout the layers of your skin.
  • Treats premature aging- For this, first you need to understand what causes premature aging signs like wrinkles and other blemishes. The answer is lack of hydration and moisture in your skin. This ingredient is proven as one of the best chemicals for dehydrated and moistureless skin. After constant use, you will start noticing differences.
  • Thorough cleansing- If you are using a cleanser, it will help you cleanse your pores deeply and will help excellently in removing extra sebum and dirt. 

In what way you should use propanediol on the skin

Though propanediol is effective for every skin type the way of using can be different. here I will tell you the right manner to use this chemical on different skins.

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1. For dry skin-

When it comes to dry skin, you have to be attentive to your products. Because continuous dryness in your skin can even cause aging problems like wrinkles and fine lines.

I would suggest you use propanediol through a moisturizer. Do not go for a cleanser at all, it can even worsen your skin. A moisturizer containing around 7 to 8 percent of propanediol is perfect for dry skin. 

For better results, you should use it on slightly damp skin and use it twice a day. Make sure the moisturizer is free from harmful chemicals.

2. For oily skin-

If you have oily and greasy skin, you should go for a cleanser containing propanediol for your skin. The cleanser will help in cleaning your skin perfectly and will also remove sebum and dirt. Go for around 5 percent of propanediol in your cleanser. 

Take a decent amount of your cleanser and then rub it gently with your fingers. Slowly massage in a circular motion for around a minute and then rinse it off. Apply toner and then a water or gel-based moisturizer. And you are done with your skincare.

3. For combination skin- 

If you have a combination skin, I would suggest you go for a serum. The concentration of this chemical can be around 1 to 10 percent. 

First, clean your face, and apply a toner if necessary. Otherwise directly apply it on your clean skin. Take about 2 to 3 drops of this serum and massage on your whole face. Now only on the dry skin areas of your face, you can apply a moisturizer. But it better not on your t zone. 

4. For normal skin-

Having normal skin is a blessing because you do not need to think much about your skincare products. Even random things suit you.

You can go for anything like cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. They will perfectly suit you. 

5. For sensitive skin-

Sensitive skin community, I can guess your pain. You have to research a lot about your skincare products.

In my opinion, you should go for a serum containing propanediol. But the concentration should not be more than 5 percent otherwise it will irritate your skin. 

First, apply it to a small part of your face or maybe neck. If it suits you, then you can apply it to your whole face. But if it irritates your skin, stop using it altogether.

Does propanediol have any side effects?

We discussed the benefits of propanediol for the skin. But every single chemical has its negative side. 

If you use it in a high concentration and all of the products contain propanediol like your cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer, it can make your skin sensitive.  So better use it only in one product either a cleanser, serum, or moisturizer. And the concentration should not be higher than 10%. If you are allergic to it, you must avoid it.

The final thought

Research has proven that propanediol is amazing for the hydration and moisture of your skin. So, without any worries, you can use propanediol on your skin. But you should also keep one thing in your mind, everything in bulk is bad. 

Use a decent or smaller, but not larger amount on your face twice a day in the above-mentioned method. Using it regularly will make your skin healthy and glowing and will reduce fine lines and dark spots.


  1. Costa, A., Almeida, A. M., Sarmento, C., & Pinto, P. (2015). Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of a topical product containing 3% propanediol in the treatment of dehydrated skin: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 26(5), 446–451.
  2. Souza, L. K., Correia, M. T. S., & Bastos, M. R. (2019). Propanediol as a humectant for cosmetic formulations: A review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 18(6), 1718–1724.

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