Ingredient Feature: Glycol (Butylene, Hexylene, Caprylyl)

Glycol is a type of organic compound which is found in the alcohol family. Butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and caprylyl glycol are all naturally occurring compounds which are frequently used in many skincare products for their safety and effectiveness. These three forms of glycol in particular have shown a great number of benefits when used as ingredients in potent skin moisturizers. It is important to understand that while “alcohol” can get a bum rap for skin health, hand selected glycols (alcohols) may actually improve overall skin health.

Today, we will look at glycols as skin ingredients with a focus on butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and caprylyl glycol’s usage in moisturizing products.

What is Glycol?

What is Glycol?

As we mentioned in the introduction, glycol is a class of organic alcohols. The glycols with which most of us are familiar are ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is derived from ethylene and is primarily used in antifreeze and other commercial applications. Propylene glycol is a non-toxic glycol which is used as a preservative and solvent within many food and health care products. We are drawing attention to these two forms of glycol to illustrate just how different compounds within the glycol family can be. With a very similar molecular formula, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are wildly different from a usage standpoint.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the three glycol ingredients used in our daily moisturizing cream for men.

Butylene Glycol

Butylene glycol is primarily used as a humectant in products including:

  • Moisturizers
  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Cosmetics
  • Sunscreens
  • Much more

Humectants work almost like a magnet for moisture, drawing water molecules towards them. When used in a moisturizing cream, humectants like butylene alcohol can work to maintain healthy levels of skin hydration for hours and even days after application. In conjunction with other potent ingredients, butylene glycol effectively uses the body’s own abundant supply of moisture to help keep the skin hydrated. A very low number of individuals may experience an allergic reaction to butylene glycol, but the risk is no greater than most other safe skincare ingredients.

Hexylene Glycol

Hexylene Glycol

Hexylene glycol is used in a wide variety of skincare products for its applications as a solvent and preservative. Moisturizers contain many active ingredients which may spoil or lose their efficacy over time. Natural preservatives like hexylene glycol fight back against this process. Hexylene glycol is also a solvent or a “viscosity agent” which can help to create a less viscous, more pleasant end product. 

Much like butylene glycol, hexylene glycol has been proven to be safe for skincare. Hexylene glycol is also FDA approved for usage as food additives or for use in “food adjacent” products such as packaging and/or labeling. Hexylene glycol is often paired with butylene glycol as the two ingredients amplify the positive effects of the other.

Caprylyl Glycol

Caprylyl glycol functions almost like a combination of our two previous ingredients. Like butylene glycol, caprylyl glycol is a highly effective humectant which can work to moisturizer skin. LIke hexylene glycol, caprylyl glycol is known for its preservatives properties and very long shelf life. Caprylyl glycol is also widely used for its naturally pleasant scent and its ability to stabilize formulas in products such as moisturizers, sunscreens, anti-aging products, and much more.

Caprylyl glycol’s preservative properties stem primarily from its natural antimicrobial abilities. This is particularly relevant for products such as moisturizers which may be stored in more humid environments and frequently come into contact with human skin (thus increasing the risk of harmful microbial interference). 

The Bottom Line on Glycol for Skincare Products

The Bottom Line on Glycol for Skincare Products

All skincare products and ingredients come with some possibility of negative side effects. Hell, even all natural skincare products carry some risk. At the end of the day, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, and butylene glycol are all safe skincare ingredients that offer a multitude of benefits. These forms of glycol have been hand selected for our potent moisturizing formula because we believe in their efficacy and safety. 

HEFF Daily Moisturizing Cream for Men Uses Only the Best Ingredients

HEFF cream for hands, elbows and feet has been specifically formulated for working men. Harnessing the power of amino acids, our lotion is ideal for even the most dry, cracked skin. We are proud to make our once-daily skincare formula with potent ingredients including butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and caprylyl glycol. Try our formula today to experience the difference for yourself!

For every tube of HEFF sold, we are proud to donate a tube to Operation Gratitude. This is a small way of giving back to the men and women who keep our country safe.To find HEFF, shop on Amazon, find us at any of these national retailers, or contact us directly for more information today!