Anyone can post anything on the internet. You could be reading propaganda in the very next post or webpage you see. In the information age, fact-checking has risen rapidly in necessity and ease. Perhaps you’ve come across alarmist information claiming propylene glycol is a horrible toxic chemical that is being secretly shoved into your body? That’s quite far from true. While you should of course fact check this post as well, here is a brief guide to what propylene glycol actually is. Propylene glycol is a type of alcohol, but not the kind you drink. What it excels at is acting as a solvent. A solvent dissolves other things and is the liquid in which the other, usually more important ingredients are floating after being dissolved.

You May Have Worn It on Your Face

Whether deodorant, makeup, or a skincare regimen, you’ve probably rubbed propylene glycol on yourself before. While there are plenty of propylene glycol free skin care kits on the market, which is wonderful, the chemical is tested by the FDA and “generally recognized as safe”. Yes, that is one of their classifications.

You Eat It Regularly

Unless you were born rich and have remained so, you’ve almost certainly ingested propylene glycol. You may be eating it right now. That’s fine. It’s used in foods and medicines mainly as a solvent and for a variety of other purposes.

You Can Be Allergic to It

As with nearly anything, you could be allergic or sensitive to propylene glycol, in which case avoiding it is wise. However, the chemical is not considered toxic except in much higher amounts than you come across on the day-to-day.

If makeup is irritating your skin, it could be the propylene glycol. It could be some other ingredient. Your best course of action is to do your homework, don’t trust the first or even third article you read, and be informed. Scientific journals or reviews with cited and credible–big caveat there–sources are best. Don’t forget to get an allergy test from your doctor if need be.