What is glycerin?
Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with a sweet syrupy taste. It is a natural compound derived from vegetable oils or animal fats.
How does glycerin work?
Glycerin’s primary beauty function is to attract moisture from the surrounding air, maintaining the skin’s natural moisture for softness. It can draw water from the inner layers of the skin epidermis or even from humid environments. According to dermatologist Erin Gilbert, glycerin also slows down water evaporation from the skin. In short, it is an extremely beneficial “secret weapon” in women’s dry skin care.
How does glycerin enhance skin beauty?
Glycerin as an effective moisturizer
Frequently found in moisturizers, glycerin effectively moisturizes the skin, naturally maintaining its hydration.
Cleansing properties of glycerin
Glycerin is a common ingredient in various water-based products such as cleansing oils and toners, effectively reducing skin irritation and eliminating dirt and excess oil.
Anti-aging effects of glycerin
By providing and maintaining moisture, glycerin ensures the skin remains soft and smooth, combating dryness, oxidation, and the aging process.
Glycerin aids in treating inflammatory acne
Known for its gentle yet potent cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties, glycerin effectively reduces skin infections and prevents further breakouts. Its mild nature makes it an ideal component in cosmetics for oily and acne-prone skin.
How to properly and effectively use glycerin for skincare
Combination of glycerin and rose water as a toner
Blend 4 tablespoons of rose water with 2 tablespoons of glycerin in a spray bottle. Use this toner after cleansing to deeply clean, control oiliness, and balance the skin’s pH.
Glycerin for skin moisturization
Create a moisturizer by mixing 200-250ml of glycerin with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a glass jar. Apply evenly before bedtime and use sunscreen during the day to prevent pigmentation.
Glycerin for acne treatment
Prepare an acne treatment solution by combining 1 teaspoon of glycerin with 1 teaspoon of camphor or tea tree oil. Apply the mixture to the skin, leave for 15 minutes, and rinse with warm water.
Glycerin for skin cleansing
Mix 1 tablespoon of glycerin with citrus acid for a cleansing effect, removing stains, dirt, and toxins. Use this mixture to cleanse your face every morning and evening before continuing with your skincare routine.
Glycerin for anti-aging masks
Combine glycerin with a powder mask, honey, or aloe vera for an anti-aging effect. Apply the mask to the skin, leave for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Use only a small amount of glycerin for these mixtures.
The significance of glycerin in skincare products
Glycerin in moisturizers
Glycerin’s water-absorbing property in moisturizers provides a hydrating and smoothing effect, especially for dry and rough skin areas. It also aids in promoting cell metabolism, resulting in softer skin. Many popular moisturizers utilize vegetable glycerin for its beneficial properties.
Glycerin in facial cleansers
Glycerin serves as an effective moisturizer in facial cleansers, ensuring thorough removal of dirt and excess oil while preserving the skin’s outer layer. Its inclusion helps maintain hydration and prevents skin irritation during the cleansing process.
Considerations for using glycerin in skincare
With its notable benefits, glycerin serves as an excellent option for moisturizing and tending to dry, dehydrated skin. However, to maximize its beauty effects, you should keep the following points in mind:
Recommended usage at a concentration of 2-4%
Glycerin can become sticky when used in higher concentrations, causing discomfort. To prevent stickiness and ensure optimal skincare, dilute glycerin in a ratio of 2 to 4%. Avoid combining glycerin with other sticky creams.
Use alongside a humectant or moisturizer
Although glycerin is an exceptional humectant, it draws moisture from the environment, potentially leading to water loss from the skin in dry, low-humidity conditions. To counteract this, incorporate moisturizing ingredients that help retain moisture. Suitable options include petrolatum, lanolin, triglycerides, mineral oil, and allantoin, as well as natural moisturizers such as olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower seed oil.
Avoid use after expiration
Expired glycerin can lead to skin redness, rashes, and itching. Discontinue use and discard the product if it has expired to prevent adverse skin effects.
Adhere to appropriate concentration levels
In cosmetic and skincare formulations, glycerin is typically safe within a concentration range of 2 to 5%, not exceeding 10%. Avoid using 100% concentration directly on the skin, as higher concentrations may cause irritation and allergies.
Refrain from using in hot, dry environments with low humidity
In hot, dry conditions with humidity below 65%, glycerin can inadvertently draw moisture from the skin’s surface due to its reverse hygroscopic effect. Opt for using glycerin in environments with humidity levels above 65%.
Observe proper storage conditions
Store glycerin away from heat sources and direct sunlight, and keep it in a tightly sealed container. Avoid storing it near substances with high oxidizing potential. Store glycerin in a cool, dry place with low humidity, and consider using additional desiccants in its storage area.
Cease use if experiencing side effects
While side effects from glycerin use are rare, monitor your skin for any signs of redness, itching, or rash. Discontinue use immediately if any adverse reactions occur, and seek alternatives that do not contain glycerin.
Some precautions for using glycerin
While generally considered safe, glycerin is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children under the age of 6. It should be avoided by individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to the ingredient. Direct contact with the eyes should be avoided, and ingestion should be prevented.
To achieve youthful, smooth, and vibrant skin, consider incorporating glycerin into your skincare regimen. With a clear understanding of glycerin and its remarkable benefits, we hope you achieve and maintain beautiful, glowing, and hydrated skin!
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.