Propylene glycol is a syrupy liquid with no colour, smell or taste. It’s a humectant that softens the skin and conditions the hair.
Where do we get it?
Because propylene glycol is usually derived from petrochemicals, it was removed from Lush soaps in 2014 and replaced by sorbitol. In 2017, a rapeseed oil-based source was found, and the compound has been progressively brought back in all our products. It is produced by a Belgium company that prides itself on creating biodegradable chemicals from natural oils. Their business strategy includes protecting natural resources and biodiversity, the welfare of their employees and inclusivity.
What are the benefits for you?
- A humectant, it attracts and carries water-based ingredients to the skin and hair.
- It softens the hair and allows it to be combed through easily.
- In combination with vegetable oils such as olive and almond, it helps to add moisture, increase tensile strength and protect the hair.
What are the benefits for Lush formulas?
- As a humectant, it absorbs moisture in formulas, reducing bacteria growth and thus helping products to last longer.
- As a solvent, it helps dilute and merge different ingredients.
- Combined with carrageenan extract and sodium laureth sulfate, it makes the base of our self-preserving shower jellies.
Propylene glycol has many uses and is a very versatile substance. This wide use means that much is known about the safety of this material. It is recognised as safe for use in foods, cosmetics and medicines. Lush has been using it for decades and has never had health concerns related to it.