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Propanediol, also known as 1,3-propanediol (PDO), is a versatile chemical compound widely used in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products. It is a type of diol with two hydroxyl groups, which gives it properties such as humectancy, solvency, and emolliency. Propanediol is often favored as an alternative to traditional glycols like propylene glycol due to its bio-based origins and lower environmental impact.


In pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations, propanediol serves as a solvent, carrier, and stabilizer for various active ingredients. Its humectant and emollient properties make it suitable for moisturizing and conditioning products. Additionally, propanediol is used in the production of polymers, lubricants, and plasticizers.


The specific dosage of propanediol varies depending on its intended use and the product in which it is included. In general, concentrations in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals may range from 1% to 10%. Always refer to the specific product formulation for exact dosage recommendations.


While propanediol is generally considered safe for topical use in cosmetics and personal care products, individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to diols or related compounds should avoid products containing propanediol. For internal use, propanediol must be handled with caution and under proper medical supervision.

Special Precautions

Always patch test products containing propanediol before widespread application to check for allergic reactions. Consult a healthcare provider if using propanediol in pharmaceutical formulations, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid ingesting propanediol unless directed by a healthcare professional.

Side Effects

Skin irritation or allergic reactions (e.g., redness, itching, rash) in sensitive individuals. If ingested, it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort or other side effects.

Drug Interactions

Propanediol is primarily used topically or as a component in other products, so drug interactions are unlikely. However, if used as part of a pharmaceutical formulation, consult a healthcare provider for potential interactions with other medications.

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