Propylene glycol is another cosmetic form of mineral oil?

Please tell me this isn't true? I googled it and found this statement on ecomall.com. "Propylene glycol is another cosmetic form of mineral oil", what does that mean exactly?
Currently:Alaffia Shea & Coconut Enriching Shampoo, Alaffia Virgin Coconut & Shea Enriching Hair Lotion, Qhemet Amla Olive Heavy Cream, Qhemet Honeybush Tea Gel.

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It's an alcohol.
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so kathy are you saying its an alcohol made from a petroleum product?

I didn't do any hardcore research, but wiki (and we all know not to take that as the end-all-be-all right?) says that,

"Industrially propylene glycol is produced by propylene oxide .[3] Different manufacturers use either non-catalytic high-temperature process at 200 C (392 F) to 220 C (428 F), or a catalytic method, which proceeds at 150 C (302 F) to 180 C (356 F) in the presence of ion exchange resin or a small amount of sulfuric acid or alkali."


and...


"Propylene glycol can also be converted from glycerol, a biodiesel byproduct."


In short, the top paragraph describes chemically how PG is made, and its been a really long time since chemistry class, but I don't think any of those are petroleum or mineral oil. The second part states that its made from biodiesel, which I know isn't a petroleum product. Or at least I think that's the whole point of it being named, "biodiesel".


I will definitely be interested in what other peeps (who hopefully know more) have to say about it.
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Fia 2cFi, fine texture, med porosity CG 5-29-09 * My hair loves protein! Currently using : DermOrganics Shampoo and IHM, G2B Kinkier Mousse, Re:Coil VMM, Anything Spiral Solutions! MO Sealing. Coconut Oil Pre-Poo, once a month Hard Water shampoo. Avoiding Glycerin in finishing products.


Last edited by goobernut; 10-07-2009 at 02:26 PM.
I didn't say anything about petroleum.

This was on about.com:

Propylene glycol (PG) is a colorless, nearly odorless, syrupy liquid that is derived from natural gas. It is used in dozens of products that you commonly use around your house. Some websites and natural product promoters argue that PG is a nasty, carcinogenic chemical that has been wrongly greenlighted by the FDA. The FDA, and others, say that their claims are completely unfounded - that PG is completely safe when used properly.
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I know you didn't, but was just wanting you to clarify the whole "alcohol" statement. I was making an assumption and asking you to clarify it heh. I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth

And, on a side note, natural gas is a by-product of the oil industry. I forget (my home state of Oklahoma forgive me for this) exactly how it is, but either it exists in pockets near oil, or something, but it is very closely related to oil. Too lazy to google it to verify. I just know that's why in OK our electric rates always went up when the oil prices went up. Cause when oil goes up, natural gas goes up. Especially in the midwestern states who get a lot of oil from their own states.

Okay, so I was WAAAY off, and propylene is natural gas. See I told you guys it had been way too long since I'd been in chemistry class lol!!!!!!!

However, while googling it, there are quite a few industries who are now using veggie glycerine to form propylene glycol. So there are several different methods used to form it.


I didn't say anything about petroleum.

This was on about.com:

Propylene glycol (PG) is a colorless, nearly odorless, syrupy liquid that is derived from natural gas. It is used in dozens of products that you commonly use around your house. Some websites and natural product promoters argue that PG is a nasty, carcinogenic chemical that has been wrongly greenlighted by the FDA. The FDA, and others, say that their claims are completely unfounded - that PG is completely safe when used properly.
Originally Posted by kathymack
Grand Goobah Caedran, Aqueous Infusion of Demulcents, Order of the Curly Crusaders

Fia 2cFi, fine texture, med porosity CG 5-29-09 * My hair loves protein! Currently using : DermOrganics Shampoo and IHM, G2B Kinkier Mousse, Re:Coil VMM, Anything Spiral Solutions! MO Sealing. Coconut Oil Pre-Poo, once a month Hard Water shampoo. Avoiding Glycerin in finishing products.

I do not think so. Speaking as someone who is slugging through her second semester of organic chemistry:

Propylene glycol (aka 1,2-Dihydroxypropane) is a propane molecule (any four carbon structure is a form of a propane molecule) with two hydroxyl groups (-OH) which make is more soluble in water (in fact, in water, it's fully miscible, which means water will readily dissolve it). So no, it isn't a derivative of mineral oil or even really directly related to mineral oil. Mineral oil is made of long hydrocarbons (a molecule that only contains hydrogen and carbon), whereas this molecule has oxygen, which makes a world of difference in terms of solubility. The two molecules would look like this:

Mineral oil:


Propylene glycol:


Translation: it's soluble in water. Don't fret.
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Sorry Onyx, I was sorta assuming people cared where PG comes from, not so much how it behaves.

In short, I agree with Laura, it behaves nothing like mineral oil. However, it SEEMS that sometimes it is produced using products from the petroleum industry.

There, sorry, I should know better than to comment on threads that involve chemistry while I'm trying to make dinner.
Grand Goobah Caedran, Aqueous Infusion of Demulcents, Order of the Curly Crusaders

Fia 2cFi, fine texture, med porosity CG 5-29-09 * My hair loves protein! Currently using : DermOrganics Shampoo and IHM, G2B Kinkier Mousse, Re:Coil VMM, Anything Spiral Solutions! MO Sealing. Coconut Oil Pre-Poo, once a month Hard Water shampoo. Avoiding Glycerin in finishing products.

That's ok, GN!! I just appreciate all the responses.

Yeah, I really just wanted to know if it will behave on my hair in the same way as mineral oil. When I saw that statement, I was shocked because the first thing that came to my mind was that it would start to block out moisture in the same way as they say mineral oil does.
Currently:Alaffia Shea & Coconut Enriching Shampoo, Alaffia Virgin Coconut & Shea Enriching Hair Lotion, Qhemet Amla Olive Heavy Cream, Qhemet Honeybush Tea Gel.

Last Texturizer: March 12, 2008
BC: July 21, 2008
Hair: Coarse, low porosity, iii.

Certified Denirophile

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome". ~ Albert Einstein
This is from salonweb.com which lists a def of all cosmetics ingredients

Propylene Glycol Combination of glycerin and water, a humectant in cosmetics. The most common moisture-carrying vehicle in cosmetics other than water. (Actually, this is the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid.)

Thought I'd add this to the mix. PG may be everything that is listed above, but when it comes down to nuts and bolts, if it is basically glycerin + water, this may explain why some curlies just don't like PG. BTW, it seems it is biodiesel (not vegetable) glycerin that makes most PG. Yuck!
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