Can propylene glycol go bad?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “can propylene glycol go bad?” and its uses in cosmetics. 

Can propylene glycol go bad?

No, Propylene glycol does not go bad and it is a non-corrosive, inert liquid that has no toxic effects.

Cosmetics containing propylene glycol are available.

  • It has great humectant properties.
  • When it comes to fragrances and preservatives, it is utilized as a solvent in their production.
  • It is a surfactant having emulsifying and co-surfactant characteristics that may be found in many products.
  • It is used in the cosmetics industry as a pigment solvent.
  • It has the potential to be used as a preservative due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • It is a widely used antiperspirant and deodorant ingredient in cosmetics.
  • It is a preservative that may be found in hand soaps and disinfection gels, among other things.
  • It is a common component in shaving creams and gels, among other things.

The effects of propylene glycol on hair

  • It is often used as a humectant, which is important for those of us who have curly hair since it helps to retain moisture. All of the usual issues about its capacity to take water from the environment into the hair, as well as its ability to pull water from the hair into itself, are applicable. This component may be problematic if you do not have optimal air quality.
  • In contrast to other chemical substances, propylene glycol is a water-soluble material that does not collect in the hair. As a low volatility diol, it will not evaporate as fast as low molecular weight alcohols such as SD alcohol and isopropyl alcohol, which are often used in cosmetics.

Shelf Life

For at least two years, Propylene Glycol USP/EP may be stored at room temperature in well-sealed containers away from direct sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet radiation. A continuous stability testing method is used to verify the shelf life of the product. The shelf life of a product refers to the amount of time it may be maintained in good condition while still meeting its intended use and sales requirements.

The temperature of the product should be monitored when it is heated (for example, in bulk storage and/or transport containers) to prevent inadvertent overheating for extended periods, which may result in fast oxidative degradation of the product. As a general rule of thumb, Dow recommends heating to a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.

What Is the Toxic Level of Propylene Glycol?

Propylene glycol is a chemical that is very safe to use. In addition, there is no indication that it causes cancer or damages DNA, nor that it interferes with fertility or reproduction. Aside from that, there have been no deaths reported.

The median lethal dose in rats is 9 grams per pound (20 g/kg), which is the same as in humans. To put this into perspective, sugar causes death in rats at a lethal dose of 13.5 grams of sugar for every pound of body weight (29.7 grams of sugar per kilogram), while salt causes death in rats at a deadly dose of just 1.4 grams of salt per pound of body weight (3 grams per kilogram).

Propylene glycol is eliminated unchanged by the kidneys about 45 percent of the time after consumption of a meal containing the substance. The remaining is metabolized by the body into lactic acid, which is then excreted.

If lactic acid accumulates in the body as a consequence of overeating, it may cause acidosis and renal failure. Acidosis occurs when the body is unable to remove the acid on time. It builds up in the bloodstream and interferes with normal function.

Toxicology is often characterized as depression of the central nervous system. A variety of symptoms, including shallow breathing, a slowing heart rate, and loss of consciousness, may manifest themselves.

In certain cases, hemodialysis may be used to remove the chemical from the bloodstream, or the patient may be advised to discontinue usage of the medicine or product that contains propylene glycol.

Is This Substance Safe to Consume?

In addition to being a common food ingredient, propylene glycol is also used in a broad range of cosmetic and personal care products.

FDA and European food safety authorities have determined that it is generally safe for use in foods in the United States and Europe.

However, since it is used as an antifreeze component, it has sparked some debate in the industry. The potential of negative health effects linked with the use of foods containing it arose as a result of this development.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “can propylene glycol go bad?” and its uses in cosmetics. 


Hello, I am Medhavi Singh. I am a PhD Scholar in the field of Food Science and Nutrition. I'm a skilled professional in Nutrition and Food technology. I love baking and writing food blogs, and in future, I want to become a Food Scientist.