Ingredient Spotlight: Butylene Glycol

Ingredient Spotlight: Butylene Glycol

By: bmbAdmin | 6 Jul 2013

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet in regards to this ingredient which is widely used in many cosmetics. Butylene Glycol plays a pivotal role in the efficacy of our masks as well as binding moisture to the skin.

Why the Negative Press?

There are a few falsehoods that make people wary of Butylene Glycol. Some say it is derived from petroleum or that it is used in antifreeze. It gets this bad rap because it is confused with other glycols. Ethylene Glycol is commonly used in car anti-freeze and is highly toxic. Propylene Glycol is for the most part safe but has some toxicity when ingested in huge doses and can be a skin irritant.

Butylene Glycol is the most gentle of all the glycols and many studies have shown it to be safe even when eaten. When it is placed on the skin or ingested it is quickly broken down into hydroxybutyric acid which is a naturally occurring compound in the body and in other organics. In fact, it has not been linked to any organ specific toxicity and is not considered carcinogenic.

Why use Butylene Glycol?

Glycols are alcohols that contain two hydroxyl groups. They are made from the fermentation of corn or other carbohydrate substrates. Butylene Glycol is used in cosmetics as a humectant. It works like this: Alcohols are naturally attracted to water. Smaller alcohol molecules would evaporate quickly pulling water away from the skin, but the larger organic alcohols of Butylene Glycol do not evaporate quickly and actually hold water to the skin. It not only helps hold this moisture to the skin but keeps key ingredients from separating helping deliver them into the skin structure for optimum benefit.

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