Am I allergic to propylene glycol?


When you're looking for an e-liquid, it's important to know that the majority of allergy-like symptoms are not caused by propylene glycol. So, if you're allergic to propylene glycol, what is causing your skin reaction?

Propylene glycol is well-known as a potential allergen, but the majority of people suffering from skin rashes are usually allergic to something else

It is a common ingredient in many products, including e-liquids. Propylene glycol is used as a preservative to keep the liquid from spoiling. It's also found in cosmetics, medications and food products like salad dressings.

Propylene glycol is considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, if you are allergic to propylene glycol or any other ingredients listed on your bottle of e-liquid or any other product containing propylene glycol, contact your doctor immediately.

Why propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol (PG) is a common ingredient in many products, including foods and cosmetics. It's also used in pharmaceuticals, but it's often found in e-liquids for vaping. As you can see from the list below, PG has many applications and uses because of its low toxicity levels:

  • It's a preservative that helps prevent spoilage in foods.

  • It can be found as an active ingredient in some inhalers to treat asthma.

  • Propylene glycol is used as a skin conditioner and moisturizer by people with sensitive or dry skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis.

  • In cosmetic products like shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps and shaving creams/gels; it helps form emulsions that help suspend water-soluble ingredients (like oils) within other substances (like water)

A Common Ingredient Used in Many Products

Propylene glycol is a common ingredient that's used in many products, including:

  • E liquids

  • Nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B3) capsules

  • Oral health products such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

What Can Cause a Propylene Glycol Allergy?

Whether or not you’re allergic to propylene glycol can be difficult to determine. Some people may have an allergy, while others develop an intolerance of this substance over time.

There are many other ingredients that go into e-liquid and other products containing PG, such as vegetable glycerin (VG). If you have allergies to any of these substances, then it may be affecting your reaction to propylene glycol as well.

Some people are also allergic or intolerant of other ingredients in their e-juices or other products containing PG and/or VG. These substances include:

  • Sorbitol – A type of sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in some juices and candy; it can cause gastrointestinal distress when consumed in large amounts

  • Polysorbate 80 – An emulsifier often added to foods like salad dressing and ice cream to keep them creamy; polysorbates are sometimes found in liquid medications as well Flavourings – Any number of chemical compounds manufactured by flavour companies specifically for use in e liquids; some natural flavours contain gluten (a protein found only in wheat) that can trigger celiac disease symptoms

PG and VG Allergies

The most common allergen in propylene glycol is peanut, but it's also found in many foods, cosmetics and even medications. It can be used as a solvent for other chemicals or medications and may also be used to deliver medication through the skin as well as into your body by injection. Allergies to propylene glycol are not very common; however, if you were allergic to peanuts and had an allergy test done which showed that you were allergic to both peanuts and PG, then it would be reasonable for your allergist to recommend avoidance of PG. The bottom line is that if a product contains "propylene glycol" on the label then it's safe to assume that there's some amount of this ingredient inside (even if they don't list amounts)

An allergy to propylene glycol is rare, and much more likely it's another ingredient in the e liquid that you're allergic to

Propylene glycol is an ingredient that is extremely common in food and beauty products. It's used as a preservative, humectant, solvent and carrier. Propylene glycol can also be found in many household items including de-icing products and antifreeze. As such it's one of the most popular ingredients for people who vape liquids containing nicotine due to its ability to dissolve other ingredients easily without altering their flavour profile.

However if you're allergic to propylene glycol then vaping e-liquids could cause some problems for you because they contain so much of this ingredient!

In general people with allergies tend to have an overreaction when exposed to certain substances. The immune system releases histamine which causes symptoms such as: swelling; pain; itching; redness; sneezing; runny nose etc...


It is important to note that propylene glycol does not cause an allergic reaction in everyone and most people are not allergic to it. If you think that you might be allergic, try a different brand of e-liquid or find out what else could be in your eliquid that may be causing the problem. If the symptoms continue after trying another brand or other products without propylene glycol in them, consult with a dermatologist or allergist who can help determine if there are other factors involved. For more info on PG see our blog.