What's a PEG?

And what does it have to do with my moisturizer?



You might have heard a little bit about PEG's before, or maybe not, but whether you've heard of it or not this particular ingredient is in A LOT of different skincare and beauty products! However, when it comes to Element Mom products this is one ingredient you WON'T be seeing, and today we're going to tell you WHY.


Alright...so what IS it? In the world of skincare there's no shortage of acronyms. This means it can be incredibly easy to get confused when it comes to deciphering them! In this case, PEG stands for Polyethylene Glycol. They are petroleum-based compounds that you can find in everything from baby wipes and household cleaners to your favorite night cream. Not only that but PEGs in various forms are used in numerous industries including medical, cosmetic, and even pharmaceuticals!


“What does it DO that makes it so widely utilized in such a broad spectrum of products?”

Well...the short answer is a lot! In cosmetics PEGs are most commonly used as a base for formulas, particularly cream-based products. They're great skin conditioners and even better vehicles for hydration, which in turn makes them a perfect vehicle for a skincare formula that wants to target and deliver moisture deep down. That sounds pretty perfect, right? The problem here doesn’t lie in the ingredient itself. Instead, it can be found in the manufacturing process of PEGs.

PEGs have been deemed largely safe to use in skincare, however, this can depend largely on how they're made. In order to make PEGs you're relying on a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide or ethylene glycol, one of which is used to produce chemicals like antifreeze or pesticide and the latter of which is actually used as antifreeze. Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen with a decent rap sheet of concerns ranging from nervous system issues to possible interference in human development, and it scores a whopping 6 on the EWG’s Skin Deep rating scale...







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