Pentylene Glycol



Pentylene Glycol at a glance

  • 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 description

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.

Pentylene Glycol references

  • Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, July 2017, pages 106-111
  • Prospector, June 2015, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, October 2012, pages 147S-168S

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.