Propanediol vs Glycerin Infusion: Testing With Botanical Powders

Extracts made with propanediol vs glycerine have been a bit of a theme in the LisaLise lab this year. I have been getting a feel for how the extracts perform in different combinations of ingredients.

Last time we looked at a comparative test of these, surfactants were involved.  Today, we're going to see at how they compare when botanical powders are added.

Color, Viscosity, Scent

There is a difference in both color and viscosity of these 2 extracts made with fresh strawberries. On the left, propanediol and on the right, glycerine. The glycerine is more viscous, pinker, and has a more robust scent of strawberry while the propanediol is quite runny, a titch duller in color and smells 'more candy-like'.

Adding (the exact same) botanical powder made quite a visible difference. Below, (propanediol on the left and glycerine on the right) it looks like there is some separation while the mixture on the right is homogenous.

The added botanical was rose powder.

Although the propanediol mixture did come together in the end, it took quite a bit more stirring. The picture at the top shows the end result.

Both of these mixtures have retained their fabulous strawberry scent for 7 months and counting (as I write this) and have managed to dominate the powdered rose completely.

I have since used both in a side by side surfactant-free cleanser test and both performed beautifully. The propanediol would be my first choice where a thinner consistency is desired while glycerite is great for more viscosity. Both have been excellent at retaining the fragrance of the infused fresh food.

More testing coming up!

Want to start making your own glycerine extracts? There's a book that shows you how right here.

Previous Posts

Strawberry side by side test glycerine vs propanediol
Testing with surfactants
Glycerine uses and properties
Making Glycerites is an Art, Here's how


K Ali said…
Can you please share how long was the color of propanediol extract of strawberry stable? I recently made one, and was wondering if can I add it in my gel face serum to give it a nice color?
LisaLise said…
HI K Ali - Thanks for your question! The stability of the color is going to depend on a few things - what the ingredient is combined with, pH of the final product, storage, packaging and more. Just packaged and standing in my ingredients fridge, the color of my glycerites and propanediol infusions is generally stable for about 3-4 months - sometimes up to 6 months. If your gel -serum is packaged in a light-proof container, you will have longer stability than if it is exposed to light. I wish there was a cut and dry answer for this kind of question, but unfortunately there is generally a lot of 'it depends' involved. You might try doing a few small side by side batches to see what you have the best result with as to color stability. Best of luck with it!