Know Your Ingredients: Butylene Glycol

by Gio

butylene glycol

What it is:
Butylene Glycol is a clear and colorless liquid.

What it does:
Butylene Glycol is a solvent. It is very used in makeup removers to dissolve any traces of makeup on your face.
In addition, this ingredient is also used to decrease the thickness of liquid products.

Side effects:
Butylene Glycol can cause mild skin irritation in some people.


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Tanya November 12, 2012 - 10:45 am

Hi, I stumbled across your website when researching information on skin care ingredients. So far, it’s been very informative although there are a few ingredients I’d like to read about from your site. Could I please let you know to add to your already fabulous list of ingredients? =)

– propanediol
– glyceryl monostearate
– deoxyribonucleic acid (dna)
– hexadecanol
– methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate
– ginseng extract
– placenta extract
– acetyl hexapeeptide-3
– biosaccharide gum-1
– bio-pga allantoin
– peg-60 hydrogenated caster oil
– disodium dat
– bisabolol
– dipotassium glycyprhizate

I find the information on other website are too confusing, your website provides clear and simple terms that readers can understand. I hope this website stays true – looking forward to becoming a fan =)

beautifulwithbrains November 12, 2012 - 10:13 pm

Tanya, hi and welcome to the blog. I hope to see you around often. I’m glad you find the information about ingredients useful and easy-to-understand. I will definitely bump those ingredients on the top of the to-do list. Is there one or two in particular you’d like me to do first?

Tanya November 13, 2012 - 5:17 am

Hi there,

I was actually researching for a skincare brand – Shelano. These ingredients are from Shelano. I’m a little concerned because half the ingredients I researched are good, the rest are bad news?!! What are your thoughts on this?

beautifulwithbrains November 13, 2012 - 6:43 am

Tanya, I couldn’t find anything really bad for skin in the list you’ve posted. Some, like DNA, when applied topically, don’t really do anything for the skin, but that’s it.

Tanya November 13, 2012 - 10:55 pm

Hi Giorgia, but I’ve also found out that “The formation of DNA is a complex process within the cell that requires a multitude of proteins and enzymes for it to have an effect on the body’s genetic material. It is also doubtful that you would want to ever put anything on your skin that could affect genetic material, particularly via a cosmetic for which there are no safety or efficacy regulations. Beyond that, any successful attempt to affect what DNA does would potentially create a significant risk of cancer.”

That is bad??? Or you think this is alright, anyway? Much appreciate your experienced input…

beautifulwithbrains November 14, 2012 - 7:23 am

Tanya, I do agree that you wouldn’t want to put anything on your skin that affects genetic material. An ingredient that can do that should be classified as a drug, not as a cosmetic, and thus be subjected to much stricter regulations. However, in this case, I don’t believe that DNA is either good or bad, but simply neutral. I highly doubt that applying DNA on the skin can affect genetic material or work in any way whatsoever. That’s because intact skin is a good barrier against external agents and very few ingredients can actually penetrate it. And I doubt much DNA, if any, would be able to penetrate this barrier. If you use it after microdermabrasion or on abraded skin, you can enhance its penetration and then it could be a concern. In any case, I think it is an unnecessary ingredient in skincare. I’d rather use retinoids or antioxidants that have been proven to work well and safely.

Tanya November 14, 2012 - 9:02 am

Thanks G =)

beautifulwithbrains November 14, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Tanya, you’re welcome. 🙂

Anne Neech December 2, 2015 - 3:14 pm

Just wanted to thank you for a fanastic website; so easy to check ingredients before purchasing products!

Thank you

Gio December 2, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Anne, my pleasure. So glad you found it useful. And thank you for all your support.

Mido May 31, 2019 - 4:48 am

Hello,i want to ask, can we use product that contains butylene glycol togother(layer) with Products that contains vitamin C,does butylene glycol is same as Glicolic acid?thanks

Gio June 4, 2019 - 6:55 pm

Mido, no it’s not the same. And yes you can use them together.


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