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Polyaminopropyl Biguanide

Today's Chemical:

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide

EWG Risk Score:


What is it:

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide is a synthetic polymer used as a preservative and anti-bacterial agent.

Why it's a risk:

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide does not pose much risk other than a slight risk of skin or eye irritation at higher concentrations.

Types of products it's found in:

Contact Solutions, sunscreen, facial products, hair products, body washes and scrubs.

Brands that use this ingredient:

California Baby

Skin Free


The Purity Project


Steph's Opinion:

Although a synthetic ingredient, it is not a terribly dangerous one.  It is not known to be mutagenic on mamilian cells, not an endocrine disruptor, not carcinogenic, and has a low toxicity.  It is not easily absorbed in to skin, and pretty mild on skin and eyes.  One fact that gives me pause is the way in which it works--by breaking the cell wall of the bacteria and damaging its DNA.  Anything that damages DNA doesn't sound very good to me.  However, the studies that have been done on the ingredient have shown that it's not strong enough to break down mamilian cells--so that's a good thing.  The bottom line: although it's not a natural ingredient that I would personally use, if you have to use it (say, in your contact solution) you can breathe a little sigh of relief that it's a safer ingredient. 


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Reader Comments (3)

PAPB solutions are sold for use as a general disinfectant solution to be applied onto skin. As it is not cytotoxic, it can be applied directly into wounds. It is also not irritating like more traditional disinfectants like alcohols , but now i have come to know that it can be irritating to your eyes too. this article has been really honest on writing the side effects and its a good thing.

Mon, November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermaria@skin care

After inquiring about the ingredients in my hair product, I am concerned over the "multitude" of similiar ingredients and their combined effect. Although none of them are reported harmful and many have the same effects, why then do we need more than two or three of them at maximum in the same product?? And have the effects of these "multitude" ingredients "together" been researched?? Even though they are considered safe by themselves, does that hold true when combined with similiar ingredients (which all perform they same tasks)?
Your comments are welcomed.
Sincerely, Linda Sanford

Sun, May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Sanford

Another brand that uses polyaminopropyl biguanide is Biotrue Multi Purpose solution from Bausch + Lomb! But it only uses 0.00013% of it haha

Tue, November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBritnry

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