Methylpropanediol at a glance

  • Often used as a solvent and to enhance the absorption of other ingredients into skin
  • Characteristically hydrating; may leave a dewy finish on skin
  • Can be used to support a preservative blend
  • Also goes by the technical name 2-methyl-1,3-propanediol
  • As a raw material it is clear, colourless liquid

Methylpropanediol description

Methylpropanediol is a synthetic ingredient that functions as solvent. In a skin care formula, it can enhance the absorption of ingredients such as salicylic acid for better penetration and efficacy. Methylpropanediol also has pronounced hydrating properties that can leave a smooth, dewy finish on skin. It is sometimes used as part of preservative blend where it helps boost the effectiveness of preservatives, so a lower amount of them is necessary. As a raw material it is clear, colourless liquid. During their evaluation in June 2018, the panel of experts for the Cosmetic Ingredient Review council recognised methylpropanediol as a safe ingredient as traditionally used in cosmetic in products.

Methylpropanediol references

  • PubChem, Accessed April 2021, ePublication
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, June 2018, pages 1-73
  • Contact Dermatitis, September 2017, pages 159-162

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.