What is glycerin?

What is glycerin?

What is glycerin?

Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a natural compound derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. It’s a clear, colorless, odorless, and syrupy liquid with a sweet taste.

Glycerin is a humectant, a type of moisturizing agent that pulls water into the outer layer of your skin from deeper levels of your skin and the air.

In skin care products, glycerin is commonly used with occlusives, another type of moisturizing agent, to trap the moisture it draws into the skin.

According to a 2016 studyTrusted Source, glycerin is “the most effective humectant” available to increase hydration on the top layer of your skin, in comparison with numerous others, including:


Is glycerin good for your skin?

Glycerin’s appearance in skin care products seems to be warranted, as there are a number of benefits it brings to your skin.

Glycerin skin benefits

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, glycerin can:

  • hydrate the outer layer of the skin (stratum corneum)
  • improve skin barrier function
  • provide protection against skin irritants
  • accelerate wound-healing processes
  • relieve dry skin
  • may help with psoriasis


How to use glycerin ?

1. Ways to use glycerin on face

Step 1. Wash your face with water and pat it dry with a towel to soak up the excess water from your face.
Step 2. To ensure that after you dry your face it should still feel a tad damp.
Step 3. Take a little bit of glycerin on a cotton ball and dab it onto your skin.
Step 4. Avoid the mouth area and eyes at all cost.
Step 5. Don’t wash it off right away but leave it on for a little while to let it get absorbed into the skin.


2. Glycerin is a great cleanser 

and it can take the place of the expensive chemical-based cleansing milk and solvents that you generally tend to use.
Step 1. For best results, you can mix three teaspoons of milk with a teaspoon of glycerin.
Step 2. Apply it on your face at night and wash it off in the morning.


3. Glycerin gently removes dirt, oils and make-up from your skin.

You could also make a homemade facial cleanser by mixing half a cup of water with one and a half tablespoons each of glycerin and cornflour in an ovenproof glass jar. Bring the mixture to a boil till the mixture looks clear. After the mixture has cooled, apply a little on moist skin and wash out with warm water.


4. Glycerin can be used as a toner.

Step 1. Dab on a little glycerin diluted with water for toning after you wash your face as it helps tighten your pores.
Step 2. Make a toning solution by mixing about one-fourths of a cup of glycerin with one and a half cups of rose water.


Precautions for using glycerin on face

You have seen how the use of glycerin is very beneficial for the face. However, there are some precautions that you need to take when applying glycerin on the face. While glycerin is very mild and rarely causes hives or rashes, in some women, glycerin does cause an allergic reaction.


1. This water-soluble, non-toxic compound is also remarkably gentle on the skin although, like with all skin products, you’d be advised to take a skin test on the inside of your arm before you apply it to your face. You must always do a patch test before using some and do contact a doctor if you do develop allergic symptoms like blisters or swellings or hives.


2. Always make sure that you dilute glycerin with water or rose water before you apply it. Use a small quantity and don’t leave it on your face for longer than necessary. Wash off the glycerin after a little while as the viscosity of glycerin tends to draw dust and pollution.


3. Glycerin could also cause a little sun sensitivity so do wear sunscreen after applying some to your face.


4. If you are uncomfortable with using glycerine from an animal source for your beauty needs, you could use vegetable glycerine that is derived from vegetable oils.

Glycerin is one of the most effective moisturisers as it helps your skin absorb moisture from the air. The clear liquid acts as a humectant (a substance that retains or preserves moisture) that stops the water in your skin from getting evaporated. Regular application of a glycerin moisturiser will always keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated.


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