What is Propylene Glycol?

propylene-glycol

This is part of our ongoing series to help consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Propylene Glycol

What it is: An alcohol made from a plant-based glycerin.

What it does: Propylene glycol is often used as an emulsifier to help ingredients blend in a formula. In the Honest Dryer Cloths, it helps emulsify the canola oil-based fabric softener into the solution we infuse in the cloths.

Why we use it: Compared to commonly used alternatives which are inherently toxic, contain toxic impurities, or degrade into toxic chemicals, the type of propylene glycol we use is very mild, non-irritating, non-carcinogenic, non-genotoxic, renewable, and biodegradable.

Why we’re featuring it today: Today we’re featuring propylene glycol for two reasons: to clarify source and safety. First of all, you’ll notice above we say “the type of propylene glycol we use.” That’s because there are indeed different types/sources of this chemical and that causes some confusion. Propylene glycol used to solely be made from petrochemicals, but in recent years chemists figured out how to manufacture it from a plant-based by-product of the biofuel industry. Our new biobased version of PG is an award-winning development in green chemistry.

Secondly, some of you have noticed that propylene glycol is rated poorly on EWG’s Skin Deep database on personal care products, but gets an A in their cleaning guide for use in cleaning products. This difference is due to exposure routes and EWG’s personal weighting system for this ingredient. The main concern about using it in body care products is that it can produce allergic reactions. Even in this situation, reactions reportedly only occur at levels of 2% or more, but our dryer cloths have less than .02% propylene glycol. So, even if your skin comes in contact with them, you shouldn’t experience any problems. Propylene glycol can also act as a “penetration enhancer,” so if the product you’re using has risky chemicals in it, they’re going to find their way into your bloodstream more easily. Again, it has to be in higher concentrations and be directly applied to your skin, but good news is that this simply isn’t the situation with our dryer cloths.

Overall, propylene glycol is considered a safe ingredient not just for cosmetic products, but also for products we consume like food and pharmaceuticals. It’s on the US Food and Drug Administration’s list of ingredients which are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and is recognized by the World Health Organization as safe for use. Sometimes we disagree with what these government bodies deem safe, but in the instance of propylene glycol and its very low concentration in our dryer sheets, we firmly stand behind its safety.

Have any other questions about propylene glycol? Let us know and we’ll do our best to respond!

Pediatric Sleep Tips For Vacationing Families

Sleep Tips for Vacationing Families

Summer time is a great time to head out on a long anticipated family vacation. But, once you have little ones, travel is never quite the same. A long plane or car ride, new environment, different time zones, and sleeping arrangements are all variables that affect your little one’s routine and sleep schedule. Good news, with a little pre-vacation guidance, you can prepare for these changes well in advance.

I remember the first time my husband and I took a family trip. Our daughter was one-year-old, and we went to New York City. Traveling across the country from California to NYC definitely sparked our parenting jitters. We had just transitioned our daughter to one nap and an earlier bedtime. We worried about how disrupted our lives would become by choosing to take such a long vacation. To help alleviate our worries, we reached out to pediatric sleep consultant, Angelique Millette. With her help and guidance, we prepared weeks in advance for our trip so that sleep disruptions and jet-lag were minimal upon our arrival.

Below are some of the wonderful tips Angelique shared with us:

• Before your trip, place your infant in her portable travel crib for sleeping so she gets used to the new sleep space. You can do this for naps or nights or both.

• Bring your infant’s lovey, sleep sack (light and heavy weight), unwashed crib sheet (familiar scent), and sound machine. Bring your toddler’s blankies, stuffed animals, favorite bedtime books and pajamas. This will help your infant to feel more secure in a new place and have reminders of home while away.

• Talk to your young child about traveling. If flying for the first time, talk to your child ahead of travel day and tell her about flying in an airplane. Bring along her favorite books, 1-2 new toys and favorite snacks/sippy cup.

• Try to schedule a flight or car trip during nap time or around your child’s bedtime.

• If flying, for take off and landing, plan to help your child drink some liquid. Offer breast or bottle for an infant, and a sippy cup with water or juice for older children. This will help to equalize the pressure in the middle ear.

• Some toddlers may not do well with new surroundings and may resist going to sleep or may be scared by new surroundings and faces. Try to help your toddler get used to a new sleep space by spending time together in the new room before bedtime.

• Try spending an additional 10-15 min with your child at bedtime the first few nights. This will mean that you want to start bedtime a little earlier than you normally would at home.

• If taking a long driving trip, pack a travel potty for your newly potty trained toddler. That way you won’t ever be too far away from a toilet.

• If your infant or child sleeps better in a dark room or tends to wake up early with the morning light, bring plastic garbage bags or dark fabric and tape over windows.

• If possible, schedule a few relaxing and restful vacation days in between busy, activity-packed vacation days. This is especially helpful after a busy travel day and right before a busy travel day.

~ Juli Fraga, Psy.D.

Dr. Juli Fraga is a psychologist in San Francisco. She specializes in reproductive and perinatal health and wellness. She has written for Design Mom, The Conversation on Lifetime, and PsychCentral. Follow her at www.drjulifraga.com or on Twitter @dr_fraga.

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

Summertime Grilled Romaine

Summertime food immediately makes us think of grilling and light salads. But we quite honestly didn’t think of putting the two together! Try this new spin on grilling veggies — just with lettuce! And enjoy the easy recipe with friends and family at one of your many weekend barbecues.

Grilled Romaine

Ingredients

  • 3 heads of organic Romaine lettuce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium heat.

2. Rub each head of lettuce with oil, then sprinkle with poppy seeds, pepper, and salt.

3. Remove from grill and slice each head in half lengthwise. Top with slivered almonds.

4. Serve warm.

- Amie Valpone of TheHealthyApple.com

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July

Summer Road Trip Survival Guide

School’s out for summer! And you know what that means? Yep, parks, popsicles, and…road trips! With many of you hitting the pavement for vacation destinations today and tomorrow, we’ve created a virtual tool kit of tips to make your travels a breeze. Enjoy the holiday, friends!

Summer Road Trip Survival Guide

Preparation is half the battle won. Start your road trip on a high note (without worry) by using a travel checklist to pack strategically. Or take a page out of Jessica Alba’s book and check out her must-have summer travel gear.

When on the road, it’s easy to fall into the fast food trap. Make better nutritional choices by packing a small cooler of these healthier snacks for the road. Traveling with a baby? Catherine McCord of Weelicious shares her tips for what to feed your little one during a long car ride. And, if you’re worried that you’re not going to eat balanced meals while dining along the interstate, take whole food-based vitamins to fill in those gaps.

Temps across the country are soaring and even passive time spent in the car can leave you dehydrated. Don’t forget to pack your reusable water bottles that can be refilled along the way.

To keep kids entertained and avoid any “Are We There Yet?” meltdowns, stock the car with audio books, CDs, and these seven books to take you on your summer travels from Modern Parents, Messy Kids. Try these creative games to pass the time and create lasting memories. And give rest stop athletics a go — stretch, take a short walk, or toss a ball with your kids to burn off some steam and inspire calm during the rest of the trip.

If your summer plans include exploring your own backyard, these top 5 family staycation ideas are sure to keep you entertained.

What are your tried-and-true travel tips?