Evaluating 1,3-Propanediol for Potential Skin Effects

Glycols have been used in cosmetics and personal care products to impart beneficial properties such as humectancy, solvency, moisturization and emulsification. One such ingredient is 1,3-propanediol (PDO), which is manufactured either by a chemical process using petroleum feedstock or by a fermentation (bio-based) process using corn sugar. Since PDO became commercially available only recently, it does not yet have a widespread history of use for properties such as humectancy, moisturization or emulsification. However, a substance structurally similar to PDO, propylene glycol (PG) (see Figure 1), does have widespread use and distribution in personal care products—but it also has a history of some dermal irritation and to a lesser extent, sensitization.1, 2

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