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Pentylene Glycol

Benefits: Hydration
Categories: Humectant, Solvent, Preservative

  • Occurs naturally in some plants (such as sugar beets)
  • Binds well to water, making it a good hydrating ingredient
  • Has mild preservative properties
  • Has been deemed safe as used in cosmetics

Pentylene glycol is an ingredient which is found naturally in some plants (such as sugar beets and corn cobs) but is most frequently lab-derived when used in cosmetics. It is a humectant, meaning it binds well to water, making it a good hydrating agent and solvent to aid penetration of other ingredients. It also helps improve the texture of skin care formulas and has mild preservative properties when used in amounts between 1-5%.

There have been some reports that pentylene glycol (along with other glycols) is a skin sensitizer; however, as with many ingredients, the amount and how it’s used are key. In cosmetics formulations the concentration of pentylene glycol ranges from 0.001% to 5%, an amount which the Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel has deemed safe to use in leave-on products.

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