Can You Use Butylene Glycol with Retinol?

Can You Use Butylene Glycol with Retinol?

There’s no denying that the beauty industry loves a trending ingredient, especially when it carries a lot of scientific backing with it, such as butylene glycol. Never heard of it before? Don’t worry, as you’ll have a better understanding of how this ingredient works and the benefits you can expect to see when using it in your routine. Not forgetting of course figuring out whether you can use butylene glycol with retinol?

So, let’s get stuck in and find out more about this skincare favourite, butylene glycol. If you are wanting a little reminder of retinol and its benefits, you can find out more over on The Beauty Insiders.

What is butylene glycol?

Butylene glycol, also known as BG, is a form of organic alcohol derived from petroleum. You’ll often find it comes in a liquid form and found in a variety of skincare products, from cleansers, moisturisers and even hair care products. It is praised for its multitalented benefits as it is able to take on a number of roles within skincare formulations. It can act as an emollient, humectant, and solvent. Butylene glycol is also considered safe to use on a daily basis and makes a great alternative to the more commonly known ingredient propylene glycol, which has since gained quite the controversial reputation.

If you are wanting to know a little more about the multitasking super ingredient, butylene glycol, you can find it over on the Skin School.

What is butylene glycol used for?

As I have already mentioned, butylene glycol is a multitalented ingredient that provides a variety of skin benefits, some of the main ones are the reason you’ll find it in such an extensive range of skincare formulations.

  • Helps products absorb quickly into the skin- Butylene glycol has the ability to breakdown the build-up and residue found on the surface of the skin left behind by impurities and product formulas. By ridding the skin surface of this other skincare products applied will absorb more rapidly and deliver results quickly.
  • Draws in water into the skin- With its humectant traits, butylene glycol can draw water in from the atmosphere surrounding the skin and lock it into place. You’re left with a plumped, glowing, and youthful looking complexion.
  • Acts as an emollient- By doing this it is able to form a protective barrier over the surface of the skin preventing any water getting lost throughout the day. This leaves you with a softened and in its best condition.

There you have the main uses of butylene glycol, as you can see for yourself it’s a highly useful ingredient that can be used by almost all skin types due to its low levels of irritation. Having said that because it is derived from petroleum, I would recommend you consult with a doctor or medical professional before introducing it into your routine.

Can you use butylene glycol with retinol?

Yes, don’t let the scary sounding name fool you, it is considered perfectly safe to use butylene glycol with retinol. With the hydrating and nourishing traits of BG you’ll find it is able to keep the skin barrier moisturised and strengthened, ensuring it is able to protect itself from free radical aggressors. Any signs of dryness and irritation that are often a side effect of retinol are also counteracted.

To get the most out of each ingredient ensure you are applying them correctly and in the right order. This will not only allow your retinol product to penetrate and set to work boosting collagen product whilst reversing signs of ageing, but you will lock moisture into the skin surface keeping it functioning properly and stay at its healthiest state.

Why you should avoid butylene glycol?

The only reason you should avoid butylene glycol is if you are prone to increased sensitivity or have a highly sensitive skin type. These skin types will often experience irritation, rashes, and itchy patches that will worsen if you unknowingly continue to use butylene glycol. For peace of mind, I would strongly suggest seeking the help from a dermatologist or trained professional regarding the best formulas to use in your daily routine, especially if you have a sensitive skin type.

Is butylene glycol good for face?

Absolutely, for almost all skin types, butylene glycol is an effective and impressive ingredient to include in your daily routine. With its many benefits and various roles, it can perform you’ll find that butylene glycol will have an all-over impressive result on the complexion. Another property of this clever ingredient is its ability to stabilise other skincare formulations meaning it can work effectively with potent actives, such as vitamin C, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol.

Just a reminder, that you should perform a patch test on the skin for 24 hours before applying any new product or ingredients on the face, this will avoid unwanted irritation and allergic reactions.

Is glycol the same as glycolic acid?

No, although I can understand the confusion as the names are very similar. Glycolic acid is a popular member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family. It is known for its effective exfoliating properties ensuring the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, debris, and impurities are sloughed away. These concerns often lead to a flare-up in blackouts, acne, signs of ageing, and lack lustre complexion. You’ll find that glycolic acid is also very potent and if used incorrectly can strip the skin of the vital oil needed to remain healthy. As you’ll understand now, glycol performs in a different way completely. It doesn’t provide any exfoliation, but instead gives the complexion a hydrated boost in moisturise. 

Is butylene glycol non comedogenic?

Yes and no, it is known for rating very highly as a comedogenic ingredient meaning it can clog the pores which can lead to acne worsening and a flare-up in breakouts, such as spots and blackheads. Having said that, if used correctly, the hydrating properties of butylene glycol is beneficial for those with oily and acne prone skin types, just ensure you keep a close watch on how your skin is feeling.

There you have it, a little more information about using butylene glycol with retinol. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to come, and follow us on Instagram.


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