Supplier of: skin actives, cosmetic ingredients, cosmeceuticals, active ingredients, and skin care ingredients, for DIY skin care and cosmetics, and homemade skin care products.
Tried this on my week-old rash from flea bites. Got an almost instant relief and rash healed in 2 days. Tried it on my daughter who has eczema for a very long time. The rashes calmed down after a few days and her skin is now healing well. Really great product. Just put in order for another jar.... ...»
Wonderful base cream! Only multi-lamellar structured cream I've found on the market. Cream itself is lightweight (no oil) yet very conditioning/hydrating. Easily accepts water-soluble active ingredients as well as oil-soluble ones. I've even pushed the additional ingred % up to 20 (meaning 80% this cream, 20% added) without any separation issues. Ideal base cream for delivering actives. Personal favorite recipe calls for 5% straight Grapeseed Oil with 5% SebumREG oil active + Panthenol 1% + E Ac.. ...»
Im 45 years old; average looking skin for my age. Applied a small pea sized amount of Sea Kelp Bioferment to my face full strength in the am after washing my face of previous night makeup.; let face "dry". Then aplied my foundation as always. Noticed my thick, heavy foundation applied more easily and smooth. Keep in mind this is DAY TWO of me using this. TWO women at work ( separate departments) commented how wonderful my face looked! One specifically came up to me and asked what I was.. ...»
Jessie Sandford
Many thanks for the Silicone DM. This product is lovely quality; it is light, silky, and leaves no residue at all. I use it in the base recipe for a mouldable polymer that I then use to make a simulated 'Amber' for bead making. At the end of this process I have a silky, translucent polymer plus the most gorgeous hands in the studio ! My thanks again, Helen.. ...»
I am following the moisturizing cream + Zinc dispersion recipe and I am extremely satisfied. I do allow for a little time for it to absorb in & then I dab off anything that I feel looks a little white - but that's because I initially use a fairly thick coating on myself. I use a bit of foundation at times on top and there are no issues as far as weird colors or texture issues. I am so grateful for this entire website as a one-stop-shop for such effective skin care products, and now we can.. ...»
I just placed my first order for SEaKelp Bioferment from Bulk Actives and was pleased to receive it very quickly.. ...»
I have a blind faith of this Pre Liposome Microemulsion, especially it is made in Japan & of Squalane & Lecithin which I am fond of. I mixed it with Palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 peptides liposome emulsion & some other water actives like Glucosamine, Niacinamide, Glutathione etc and the serum was very smooth and moisturizing. As it claims, it penetrates into the skin very well. I will mix it with oil soluble actives in my next batch. .. ...»
This is an excellent additive for increased absorption into the skin. I personally incorporate it with the ceramide lamellar crystal emulsion and multi lamellar base cream V2. The final product delivers a soothing, calming, super moisturizing liquid that penetrates the skin and helps the healing of severe skin issues such as mine (ichthyosis, keratosis). I highly recommend this formulation for those who are not getting any relief from other products and prescription topicals. My skin is finally .. ...»
I am very happy with my purchase of SKB from BulkActives. Good quality and packaged well. I use SKB in my Vitamin C serum. Will buy from them again. Can't beat the price either! .. ...»
Excellent cold emulsifier. Easy to use and a little goes a long way. Gives product a soft luxurious feel excellent for high end personal skin care products. Wish it came in a larger size..... ...»
Secure Payments
Orders Securely Processed Through PayPal
 Visa  Mastercard  Discover  American Express

SSL Certificate

As Featured On EzineArticles





Important Stuff

 All customers PLEASE read:

 the FAQ and Delivery Info pages!

Canadian Customers:

Any long delivery delays are caused by The Canada Border Services Agency.
I now ONLY offer EMS as a shipping option to Canada. 
This appears to have resolved most of the delays caused by The Canada Border Services Agency.

Please write your correct address:

We take NO responsibility for delivery issues caused by customers entering the wrong address in the checkout page


BulkActives is a part-time business. Orders are processed and mailed on Saturdays. (TimeZone Order Deadline Chart)

What we sell

We sell  COSMETIC RAW MATERIALS, which are meant to be used at an appropriate percentage in a cosmetic formulation of your devising. Please do not order our products unless you know how to formulate creams and lotions with it!  

Forgotten your password? Not receiving lost password emails? Can't create an account?

NO PROBLEM!  Just email me, and I will sort it all out.

Not receiving order status email updates?

Please check your JUNK mail folder for our emails, and mark them as NOT SPAM.

Failing to do so will result in NOT receiving ANY transaction / order status email updates.

Recipe % calculator


Sample Recipes

Download sample recipes RAR file



Please READ this before placing an order, and select the CORRECT shipping option for your country at checkout!

Due to Wuhan Pneumonia Virus (aka Covid-19) border restrictions and a reduction or cancellation of flights by airlines, we CAN ONLY ship to the counries listed below!

We have also been advised to expect delivery delays at your end, and yes, that INCLUDES USA customers!!!

UK customers, we are finally ABLE to ship to the UK.

We CAN ship to:

Registered Airmail and EMS:
NORTH AMERICA: USA (NOT including Hawaii and Guam), UK
ASIA: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines
EUROPE: France, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Finland

EMS only ! (Do NOT select Registered Airmail at checkout)
EUROPE: Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech, Italy
OCEANIA: New Zealand, Australia

Registered Airmail only!
Cambodia, Spain, Austria, Slovakia, Bahrain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lithuania

IMPORTANT: If your country is NOT in the above lists, then we CANNOT ship to you at the moment.
If your country does not accept Registered Airmail, then do NOT select it from the shipping options at checkout!


Propanediol (1,3-Propanediol)

Propanediol (1,3-Propanediol) is a skin friendly, natural (bio-derived from corn), and petroleum free glycol alternative for the cosmetics and personal care market. Approved by  Ecocert™ and certified by the Natural Products Association (NPA), Propanediol is  a  100%  natural source ingredient. Propanediol is  the  perfect  glycol  alternative  for  formulations where non-petroleum based ingredients are desired. Benefits include its high purity, lack of  skin  irritation  or  sensitization,  improved  humectancy,  excellent  aesthetics  and environmentally  sustainable  nature.  It  is  currently  being  used  in  many  major  hair  and skin care brands around the world. Propanediol can  be  used  to  replace  glycols  such  as  propylene  glycol  (1,2-propanediol),  butylene  glycol  (1,3-/1,4-butanediol), Ethyxydiglycol,  or  glycerin. 

Depending  on  your formulation needs, it can function as:

  • Emollient
  • Humectant
  • Solvent
  • Hand-feel Modifier
  • Viscosity Enhancer
  • Botanical Extraction and Dilution
  • As a carrier for active ingredients
  • Ingredient for natural esters and ethers
  • Ingredient in natural preservative systems

Key benefits of Propanediol Propanediol (1,3-Propanediol) in skin care:

  • 100%  natural - Approved  by  Ecocert™ and  by  the  Natural  Products  Association (NPA)
  • No Skin Irritation or Sensitization
  • Improved Viscosity-Building
  • Improved Humectancy
  • Enhanced Clarity
  • Excellent Sensory Characteristics
  • Excellent Cloud Point
  • Boosts Preservative Efficacy
  • Increased Foaming, if Desired
  • 100% natural
  • Preservative-free
  • Environmentally Sustainable
  • High Freeze/Thaw, Heat Stability
  • High Purity (99.8% minimum)
  • Petroleum-free
Product Code: BulkActives
CAS#: 504-63-2
Net weight: 300 g / 10.58oz
Availability: Product Out Of Stock
Price: $10.50

    - OR -   Add to Wish List
Add to Compare

About Propanediol in DIY Skin Care

A solvent is by definition a substance that dissolves another to form a solution. In cosmetic formulation, no matter commercial or DIY, solvents are of vital importance. Not only do they need to dissolve powdered ingredients and generate a stable, homogeneous solution, but they also have to be gentle on the skin and if possible, beneficial.  

Propanediol (1,3-Propanediol) is an organic compound with the formula CH2(CH2OH)2 . With two hydroxyl groups (OH-), propanediol is a diol, which is basically a chemical compound that manifests both properties of a simple alcohol (a chemical compound with one OH group) and triol (a chemical compound that has three OH groups). This means that Propanediol has solvent (dissolves and homogenizes), emulsifier (mediates emulsification of heterogeneous compounds), stabilizer (fixes the solution), preservative and antiseptic (prevents the bacterial growth and solution decay) properties, just like an alcohol, However,due to its extra OH group it is milder on the skin and has enhanced moisturizing and humectant properties. Due to its chemical formula, propanediol (which is the natural alternative to propylene glycol) is milder than a simple alcohol, yet more effective than glycerol [1].

An eco-certified Propanediol, called Zemea TM is now available for DIY cosmetic.  It is a highly pure glycol obtained by sustainable, renewable and ecological corn sugar fermentation process. Propanediol is the perfect solvent solution in cosmetic preparation where it successfully replaces industrial products such as propylene glycol (propane-1,2-diol, 1,2 Propanediol),  butylene glycol and other petroleum-based ingredients. Besides being a potent, natural and skin-friendly solvent Propanediol is also an excellent emollient, emulsifier and humectant. Propanediol is the natural alternative to propylene glycol (1,2-Propanediol), a synthetic chemical ingredient widely used as a solvent in industrial products and in commercial cosmetic products. According to its product sheet [1] and safety data sheet [2] Propanediol is 100% made of all natural corn sugar, without any preservatives or other ingredients, non-toxic, non-irritating, , non-sensitizing, non-mutagenic,  non-carcinogenic and environmentally-safe.

In vivo and in vitro studies assessing Propanediol’s properties revealed very low toxicity and high compatibility with live tissues. Furthermore, Propanediol has no cumulative effects and it’s safely metabolized by live cells. 1,3-Propanediol is not mutagenic in bacterial or mammalian cells[4]. Clinical research based on Propanediol patch tests repeatedly applied on 100 and respectively 200 volunteers showed that Propanediol is not irritating, sensitizing or fatiguing to the skin. Propanediol was well tolerated at up to 75% concentration with no obvious effects such as erythema or redness, even with repetitive applications [5]. ZemeaTM Propanediol was not a dermal irritant or sensitizer at test concentrations as high as 75% in a 207-person human skin patch test [4,5].

Besides being well tolerated by the skin, Propanediol packs potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. Sudies showed Propanediol to be effective against Malassezia globose, a microorganism associated with human dandruff and to also enhance bioavailability for the other active ingredients [6]. The study showed that Propanediol (ZemeaTM) enhances the efficacy of the active ingredients in anti-dandruff shampoo formulation such as zinc pyrithione, and induces the mortality of 90% of harmful bacteria population at a concentration of only 4% [7]. Studies assessing the moisturizing efficiency of Propanediol against other chemical solvents in skin care ointments showed that the natural solvent is superior both in objective measurements and participant’s feedback. Another blind-test ranked the Propanediol based formulation as the top one concerning sensory attributes and use characteristics [8].

Propanediol efficiency and behavior was modeled using “Formulating For Efficacy” software, the state of the art tool that analyzes the way ingredients interact in a formulation and are delivered to the skin. The software is focused on formulation composition and skin delivery efficiency using the Hansen Solubility Parameters (dispersion, polar and hydrogen bonding: D-P-H) to assess solubility. Propanediol showed results superior to other solvents in the cases of allantoin, ferulic acid, ascorbic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, extended their delivery time and optimized the formulation design for the modelled preparations [9].

Propanediol (1,3-Propanediol, ZemeaTM) is the natural repacememt of propylene glycol (1,2 propanediol), a chemical compound extensively used in industrial and chemical applications including cosmetic preparations. While both Propanediol and propylene glycol share the same chemical formula which means that they have common physical and chemical properties, they have different molecules and implicitly different behaviors in certain situations. Propylene glycol is frequently used in cosmetic preparations as solvent, preservative and emulsifier. The product safety assessment for propylene glycol indicates that repeated exposure of skin may cause softening and flaking of the stratum corneum [13]. The safety assessment of propylene glycol states that the substance is safe to use in cosmetic formulations but there is concern regarding skin irritation [11]. While the chemical efficiency of propylene glycol is incontestable its effects on skin have been associated with epidermal sensitization, irritation and contact dermatitis [12][13][14]. Patch test surveys focused on assessing patients with existing allergic contact dermatitis reported a 2–4% occurrence of sensitization to Propylene Glycol in the general population [5]. Propylene glycol is also synthetic, not sustainable and not environmental friendly.

The question concerning Propanediol and Propylene Glycol is what sets them apart, taking into consideration that they share the same chemical formula. While Propanediol and Propylene Glycol have the same chemical formula CH2(CH2OH)2 or C3H8O2 their molecular structure is different. This means that even though it contains the same number and types of atoms, they have a different arrangement. Because of this difference they are treated as separate chemical compounds, despite sharing the same chemical formula [15]. Furthermore, Propanediol and Propylene Glycol have different physical and chemical properties. One notable difference is that Propanediol is more stable with temperature variation and less flammable: it has a higher boiling point and a 3X higher flash point (inflammable vaporization temperature).  Another remarkable difference is the EWG (Environmental Hazard Group) score which is 1 (low hazard) for Propanediol and 3 (moderate hazard) for Propylene Glycol [16].

Propanediol for skin carePropylene Glycol not for skin care

Propanediol (image source:               Propylene Glycol (image source:

All the physical and chemical differences between Propanediol and Propylene Glycol are also responsible for their impact on skin. Clinical RIPT (repeat insult patch test) studies showed Propylene Glycol is more likely to cause skin reactions compared with Propanediol. The main responsible factors are the different chemical structure and the extent and nature of exposure. Clinical trials seem to validate the theory that the molecular structure of Propylene Glycol is responsible for the skin irritation, while the more flexible molecule of Propanediol is better tolerated by the skin [5].

Taking all the scientific data in consideration, when choosing between Propanediol and propylene glycol, the logical choice is Propanediol. While a difference in pricing could be argued, due to the small quantities required in preparations the impact on the final product is very small and more importantly, Propanediol comes from a sustainable, environmental friendly source.  Not only is Propanediol natural, organic and renewable but it replaces petrochemical solvents in a 1:1 ratio, meaning that the same quantity is sufficient to obtain the same results. Propanediol is effective in any type of cosmetic preparation from solid deodorants, to shampoos, lotions and ointments.

While it’s almost impossible to control ingredients in commercial cosmetic products, in DIY the results can be maximized by choosing top quality ingredients, making informed decisions and continuously refining the recipe to reach the perfect product for your skin. Using Propanediol as a solvent comes with multiple advantages: it is gentle on the skin, has emollient and humectant properties, it enhances skin delivery and bioavailability of active ingredients, it comes from natural, sustainable sources and it is environmental friendly.

INCI: 1,3-Propanediol
Trade name: Zemea
Assay: 99.8% minimum
CAS#: 504-63-2
Appearance: clear liquid
Source: corn (corn is fermented with a biocatalyst to glucose, which is then refined to 99.8% pure bio-derived 1,3-Propanediol)

Boiling Point: 214ºC
Melting Point: - 25ºC  
Density: 1.053 @ 20ºC  
Vapor Pressure: 0.044mm Hg @ 25ºC 
Flash Point: 268ºC                                               
Autoingintion: 400ºC

Storage: Cool, dry place. Do not freeze. Keep away from light and moisture!
Country of origin: Not disclosed by manufacturer
Manufacturer: DuPont Tate and Lyle Bio Products
  1. Bäurle G, e. (1985). The suitability of propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol) as an active antimicrobial adjuvant in ointments. - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  2.,. (2015). Zemea Technical Data Sheet. Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  3.,. (2015). Zemea Safety Data Sheet. Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  4.,. (2007). Zemea Bio Product Material Safety Data Sheet. Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  5. Belcher, L., Muska, C., & DeSalvo, J. (2010). Evaluating 1,3-Propanediol for Potential Skin Effects. Cosmetics&Toiletries, 125(5).
  6. Durham, R., & Zahn, J. (2014). Improving dandruff shampoo via biobased propanediol. Personal Care, (September), 77-79.
  7.,. (2015). Zemea® Propaned iol : Potential for Boosting Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT) Efficacy. Retrieved 4 January 2016, from
  8.,. (2015). Zemea® Propaned iol : Consumer Sensory and Moisturization Study. Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  9. Formulating for Efficacy,. (2016). Retrieved 3 January 2016, from
  10.,. (2013). Product Safety Assessment Propylene Glycol. Retrieved 4 January 2016, from
  11. Fiume, M., Bergfeld, W., Belsito, D., Hill, R., Klaassen, C., & Liebler, D. et al. (2012). Safety Assessment of Propylene Glycol, Tripropylene Glycol, and PPGs as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal Of Toxicology, 31(5 Suppl), 245S-260S.
  12. Trancik, R., & Maibach, H. (1982). Propylene glycol: irritation or sensitization?. Contact Dermatitis, 8(3), 185-189.
  13. Hannuksela, M., Pirilä, V., & Salo, O. (1975). Skin reactions to propylene glycol. Contact Dermatitis, 1(2), 112-116.
  14. Catanzaro, J., & Smith, J. (1991). Propylene glycol dermatitis. Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology, 24(1), 90-95.
  15.,. (2016). The PubChem Project. Retrieved 4 January 2016, from
  16.,. (2016). Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | EWG. Retrieved 4 January 2016, from

Write a review

Your Name:

Your Review: Note: HTML is not translated!

Rating: Bad           Good

Enter the code in the box below:

(c) BulkActives 2005-2024