It’s time to put the spotlight on yet another popular skincare ingredient, and this time it’s glycerin! Glycerin is a commonly found ingredient in many skincare products. But why is that so?
Glycerin, also known as glycerol or glycerine, has fantastic skin moisturising and hydrating properties amongst a wide range of other skin benefits.
In this article, we give you the full rundown of glycerin, including:
- What is glycerin?
- Where did it come from?
- Glycerin skin benefits
After reading this article, you’ll become an expert on this star skincare ingredient! You’ll also have the information necessary to add it to your own private skincare label.
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin is a naturally occurring compound derived from either plants or animal fat. However, it can also be reproduced and made synthetically. Glycerin is clear and colourless in appearance. Viscous and odourless; it is known for its super moisturising properties. This is because glycerin is considered a humectant.
A humectant is a moisturising agent which acts like a magnet to draw moisture from the air and into the skin. No surprise that it has made its way and become a staple in many lotions, creams and moisturisers. Other common humectants found alongside glycerin is hyaluronic acid and urea.
Where did it come from?
Glycerin was actually the result of an accident. Swedish chemist K.W. Scheele accidentally discovered it after heating a mixture of olive oil and litharge back in 1779. However it was French chemist, M.E. Chevreul who named it and began studying its uses and discovering its beneficial properties.
4 Glycerin Skin Benefits You’ll Love
These days, there are other uses for glycerin, not just skincare. It’s also used in soaps, makeup products, deodorants and candles. But you’re here to find out what glycerin can do for your skin, so here are some amazing 4 glycerin skin benefits.
# 1 -Hydrate & Moisturise Skin
Hydration and moisturisation is what glycerin is famous for. Acting as a humectant to draw moisture into the skin, glycerin turns dry, scaly patches into soft, smooth skin. Glycerin has the added benefit of being gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.
Glycerin is also super compatible with many other moisturising ingredients especially occlusives. Occlusives are another type of moisturising agent that work as another layer of skin to keep moisture in. They’re usually thick and quite viscous. Examples of some occlusives are paraffins and squalane.
Glycerin works hand in hand with occlusives. Glycerin draws moisture in, while the occlusive prevents it from leaving.
If your main skin concern is dry, flaky skin, glycerin can provide an ocean of moisture and comfort.
#2 – Restore & Improve the Skin Barrier
The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin and is responsible for protecting your skin from external irritants. It’s also responsible for minimising the effect of Transepidermal Water Loss (also know as TEWL). TEWL refers to the loss of moisture through evaporation. This effect can be further compounded by the presence of dry indoor air or wind.
So you can guess that a damaged skin barrier can lead to both irritated and dry skin. But it could become even worse as it may lead to cracked, wounded skin.
Applying products with glycerin can help patch up the holes in a damaged skin barrier. It will also restore and lock in moisture in your skin, combating the effects of TEWL.
#3 – Encourages & Accelerates the Healing Process
Sometimes it may be too late, and your skin is already wounded and damaged. Glycerin is the perfect solution to help heal these wounds. By providing much-needed hydration, the skin’s functionality is increased and it can start healing itself. This is why glycerin is a widely used ingredient for sufferers of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Recent studies have also shown glycerin to possess antimicrobial properties. This means that applying it to wounded skin not only restores it, but protects it from anything that might cause further damage. This includes reducing the chance of infection from harmful bacteria.
#4 – Improves Skin Appearance
We’re always looking to keep our skin looking youthful and bright, despite the inevitable effects of aging. Glycerin can help us minimise the appearance of wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet. By promoting an increased amount of moisture, skin is kept smooth and soft. This in turn helps skin look youthful, dewy and glowing.
It goes to show that glycerin’s incredible properties should become a mainstay in your anti-aging routine.
Are there any glycerin side effects?
Glycerin has been reported to have no distinct side effects. However, due to it being a naturally occurring compound, there is a chance that some people may have an adverse, allergic reaction to it.
As with every ingredient or product, it’s important to conduct spot testing to determine whether it is suitable for you and your skin. Redness, itchiness, stinging are all signs that you could be allergic to glycerin and immediate discontinuation is strongly advised.
Also, pure glycerin can actually draw so much moisture that it draws it from your skin, leaving it dry. This is why glycerin is usually mixed with other moisturising agents and ingredients to prevent this.
Experience the benefits of glycerin for yourself
Glycerin has the potential to be a key component for both your skin routine and your private skincare label. There aren’t many humectants that are as effective as glycerin, or safe to use for that matter.
This is the opportunity to try glycerin skin benefits for yourself. You’ll be able to enjoy more youthful, healthier skin.
Wanting to get more useful information about skincare? Check out the H&H blog where you’ll find more ingredient spotlights and tips on how to build your own private skincare label!