Propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate is a mixture of the propylene glycol diesters of caprylic and capric acids. Caprylic and capric acid are saturated fatty acids naturally present in coconut oil. They are both classified as “medium-chain” fatty acids based on their carbon chain length; caprylic acid has 8 carbon atoms and capric acid has 10 carbon atoms. Adding propylene glycol to the diesters of caprylic and capric acids increases the water solubility of this ingredient.
In cosmetics and personal care products, propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate functions as an emollient and skin conditioning agent. It provides a velvety skin feel and non-oily quality to skin care creams and lotions. This ingredient has a gel-like texture and is most often used in lightweight moisturizers. In addition, propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate is used to aid in the solubilization of fragrance compounds and oil soluble vitamins for topical application.