Johnnynozitts Johnnynozitts
3 years ago

Butylene Glycol as a potential irritant

Is it possible that Butylene Glycol can exacerbate redness in people with an impaired moisture barrier??

I have noticed that almost any Asian skincare moisturiser turns my face into a red cabbage(especially around the cheeks and nose)and the only common element i can find between them all is butylene glycol is present in them. The rest of the ingredients look innocuous cross referencing between here, CosDNA, and Incidecoder, and you all seem to list butylene glycol as safe. I am at a loss here......

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Yes, it is possible. Glycols used in cosmetics, including butylene glycol can lead to both irritant and allergic reactions. Irritant reactions are way more common than allergy to butylene glycol. Reactions to glycols are not widespread, but they definitely can happen.

Try excluding butylene glycol from your skincare routine for a couple of weeks. If your skin would gets better, then you most likely have an irritant reaction to the ingredient... I know it is not easy to find products that do not contain it - please give us a shout if you need help (we are updating our Avoid List feature right now, the task of finding products without an ingredient should get easier soon).


Butylene glycol is an alcohol but it’s not typically very irritating and is a very rare allergen. With skin irritation it is never likely one ingredient causing it it’s a collection.