Consumers looking for ways to treat dry, flaky skin may come across a synthetic ingredient called pentylene glycol. This chemical is often formulated into skin creams and moisturizers, because of its ability to help the skin retain moisture. In addition to its humectant properties, pentylene glycol is also said to have anti microbial effects, which can help keep skin care formulations intact longer. However, some studies suggest that pentylene glycol may be harmful to the skin and to the body. For example, select data suggests that this chemical may cause toxicity in high amounts, while other studies point to potential skin irritation. Because of the potential issues associated with this ingredient, consumers with sensitive skin or a history of rashes may benefit from pentylene glycol products with their dermatologist, before use.