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In today’s fast-paced world, putting in the time and energy to maintain beautiful and healthy skin can be quite a challenge. The building block for a flawless beauty routine is moisture. Even if there is no time for anything else – hydration is central.
Glycerin might just be the answer you’re searching for moisturized skin! With its incredible hydrating properties and gentle effects on the skin, this natural ingredient is on the label of numerous skincare products.
While this ingredient is literally everywhere, you may not have heard about the incredible benefits of glycerin for the skin. Spoiler alert -There is more than its powerful hydrating and moisture-retaining capabilities, which help keep your skin looking youthful and supple.
Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types, so whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, glycerin has got you covered.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s get this article started! The benefits of glycerin for the skin will surprise you!
What Is Glycerin?
Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a colorless, odorless, and sweet-tasting liquid commonly used in various industries, including food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products.
One of the most common production methods involves hydrolyzing vegetable oils or animal fats, yielding glycerol and fatty acids. Glycerin can also be produced synthetically through the refining of crude oil.
An interesting point is that glycerol isn’t just an external ingredient—it’s also endogenous, meaning our bodies naturally produce it.
It’s a component of sebum, the oily substance secreted by our skin’s sebaceous glands that helps moisturize and protect our skin. As an endogenous compound, glycerin is part of our natural moisture-retaining mechanisms.
What Does Glycerin Do For The Skin
So, right from the start, we see that glycerin plays a pivotal role in skin health. But where can we attribute the benefits of glycerin to the skin? Its skin-loving properties, of course!
So, what does glycerin do for the skin?
- Humectant: Glycerin attracts and retains moisture from the air, keeping the skin hydrated.
- Emollient: It forms a protective barrier, preventing water loss and maintaining skin’s softness.
- Soothing: It calms and soothes irritated or red skin, reducing discomfort.
- Antimicrobial: There is some evidence supporting the antimicrobial effect of glycerin, which could function as a soothing balm for skin irritation.
The 6 Benefits Of Glycerin For The Skin
With exposure to many pollutants and abrasive skincare ingredients, restoring and pampering our complexion is essential.
Glycerin is a powerful natural ally to boost skin health. To highlight that point, I present the 6 amazing benefits of glycerin for the skin.
Glycerin Maintains Skin Hydration
One of the top benefits of glycerin for the skin is its ability to maintain skin hydration. Glycerin, with its remarkable humectant prowess, attracts and retains moisture from the surroundings, ensuring that the skin remains well-hydrated and supple.
Its molecular structure facilitates the creation of a moisture-locking barrier on the skin’s surface, helping to prevent water loss and maintaining an optimal hydration level.
This hydrating phenomenon not only promotes immediate comfort but also contributes to the long-term health and vitality of the skin.
Glycerin Boosts The Barrier’s Function
In the realm of skin protection, glycerin emerges as a key player in reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier. This barrier, comprised of lipids and cells, shields the skin from external aggressors like pollutants, UV radiation, and harsh weather conditions.
Glycerin takes this defense to the next level by forming a protective shield, effectively bolstering the skin’s ability to combat stressors.
Through this fortification, the skin maintains its resilience, ensuring a harmonious interaction with its surroundings and upholding its innate vitality.
Glycerin Protects Against Skin Irritation
Glycerin’s gentle nature makes it a trusted ally for those with even the most sensitive skin. Its hypoallergenic properties work in tandem with its hydrating abilities, forming a calming shield against skin irritation and redness.
When applied topically, glycerin creates a soothing layer that helps to alleviate discomfort and mitigate the effects of external irritants.
This attribute not only fosters immediate relief but also cultivates an environment where the skin can flourish without undue stress.
Glycerin Promotes The Natural Exfoliation Process
Beyond hydration and protection, glycerin unveils its transformative influence on the skin’s natural exfoliation process. This process involves shedding dead skin cells to reveal a fresher, more radiant complexion underneath.
Through the hydration it provides, glycerin acts as a catalyst, encouraging and facilitating this natural turnover.
The removal of dull and tired skin cells contributes to a smoother texture and a vibrant glow that radiates youthful vitality.
Glycerin Accelerates Wound Healing
The journey of wound healing becomes swifter with glycerin’s participation. Its hydrating prowess plays a pivotal role in fostering an optimal environment for the skin’s natural healing mechanisms.
By maintaining adequate moisture levels, glycerin supports the skin’s regenerative processes, facilitating the repair of damaged tissues.
Whether addressing minor cuts, abrasions, or other forms of skin damage, glycerin’s nurturing touch aids in accelerating recovery and restoring the skin to its optimal state.
Glycerin Helps In Conditions Like Eczema
The soothing capabilities of glycerin extend to conditions like eczema, offering a much-needed balm for distressed skin. Dermatitis, characterized by inflammation and discomfort, finds solace in glycerin’s hydrating embrace.
Its moisture-retaining properties help to alleviate dryness, itching, and redness often associated with dermatitis.
By creating a protective layer that locks in hydration and prevents further irritation, glycerin acts as a gentle companion on the journey to restoring skin comfort and balance.
How To Use Glycerin On Your Skin
The benefits of glycerin for the skin are truly remarkable for such a straightforward ingredient. Are you wondering how to employ this impressive skincare ally in your routine? Here is everything you need to know.
The pure form of glycerin is typically found as the clear, odorless, and viscous liquid we have talked about. Pure glycerin can be found in different concentrations, commonly ranging from around 95% to 99.7% pure.
It is still often mixed with a small amount of water, as glycerin has a natural affinity for water and can absorb moisture from the surrounding air.
The question arises – Can you apply pure glycerin on the skin? The answer is no.
Glycerin’s humectant properties can potentially draw moisture from deeper layers of the skin if used in extremely dry environments. This could lead to dryness and irritation, which is the opposite of what we want.
That is why you should always dilute pure glycerin, either by mixing it with water or with your favorite water-based moisturizer.
Method 1: Glycerin-Water Solution
- Choose a Container: Select a clean and sterilized container to mix the glycerin and water.
- Measure Glycerin: Measure the desired amount of pure glycerin you want to dilute. Start with a small amount, especially if you’re new to using glycerin, to determine the right concentration for your skin.
- Add Water: Add an equal or larger amount of distilled or filtered water to the container. The amount of water you add will depend on the level of dilution you’re aiming for. For example, if you want a 1:1 glycerin-water mixture, add the same amount of water as glycerin.
- Mix Thoroughly: Stir or shake the container well to ensure the glycerin and water are thoroughly mixed.
- Test and Adjust: Perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to ensure that the diluted mixture is suitable for your skin type and doesn’t cause any adverse reactions. If the mixture feels too sticky, you can add more water to further dilute it.
Method 2: Mixing with a Moisturizer
- Select a Moisturizer: Choose a moisturizer that you regularly use and trust. Opt for a moisturizer that’s lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin.
- Dispense Moisturizer: Take the amount of moisturizer you typically use for your face or body.
- Add Glycerin: Add a small amount of pure glycerin to the moisturizer. Start with a drop or two and adjust based on your preference and skin’s reaction.
- Mix Thoroughly: Rub your hands together to thoroughly mix the glycerin with the moisturizer.
To maximize the benefits of glycerin for the skin, you can cook up your own serum by adding other skin-loving ingredients, like rosewater.
For best results, apply this mixture 1-2 times per week, and you will have beautiful glowing skin in no time!
The Best Skincare Products With Glycerin
- Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser: Enriched with glycerin, this purifying cleanser effectively removes impurities and excess oil while maintaining the skin’s moisture balance, leaving it clean, smooth, and radiant.
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors: This moisturizer contains glycerin as a key ingredient to replenish and restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving it soft, supple, and moisturized.
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: Infused with glycerin, this cult-favorite moisturizer provides intense hydration and locks in moisture, leaving the skin smooth, comfortable, and protected throughout the day.
- Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel: This gel cleanser contains glycerin to effectively remove makeup, impurities, and excess oil while maintaining the skin’s moisture levels, leaving it clean, balanced, and radiant.
- Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream: This luxurious moisturizer features glycerin to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, promoting a smooth and glowing appearance while also providing a perfect base for makeup.
- Paula’s Choice Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer: This lightweight moisturizer, enriched with glycerin, delivers essential hydration to the skin, helping to replenish moisture and improve its overall texture and appearance.
- Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask: Formulated with glycerin, this luxurious mask provides intense moisture and nourishment, leaving the skin soft, supple, and glowing with radiance.
- La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Eye Cream: This eye cream contains glycerin to hydrate and smooth the delicate eye area, while retinol helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, leaving the eyes looking refreshed and youthful.
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream: Enriched with glycerin, this dermatologist-recommended cream provides long-lasting hydration and helps to soothe dry and sensitive skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and supple.
- Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector: This lightweight serum, infused with glycerin, delivers a potent dose of vitamin C to the skin, helping to brighten the complexion, reduce the appearance of dark spots, and promote a more radiant and even-toned skin tone.
Potential Side Effects On The Skin When Using Glycerin
Glycerin is generally considered safe and well-tolerated for most individuals. However, like any skincare ingredient, some people may experience potential side effects when using products containing glycerin. Here are a few possible side effects:
- Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may be allergic to glycerin. Allergic reactions can manifest as redness, itching, hives, or swelling of the skin. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
- Skin Irritation: In rare cases, glycerin can cause skin irritation, especially if used in high concentrations or in combination with other irritating ingredients. It’s important to patch-test new products before applying them to your entire face or body to check for any adverse reactions.
- Breakouts or Acne: Glycerin itself is not comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores. However, some people may find that certain products containing glycerin, especially combined with other ingredients, can contribute to breakouts or acne. This can be due to individual skin sensitivities or specific formulations.
- Dryness: Glycerin is typically used as a humectant, which helps attract and retain moisture in the skin. However, in very dry climates or in the absence of sufficient environmental humidity, glycerin can draw moisture from deeper layers of the skin, potentially causing temporary dryness. To mitigate this, it’s recommended to use glycerin-based products in conjunction with moisturizers or in humid environments.
It’s important to note that side effects can vary from person to person, and individual sensitivities or allergies may play a role.
If you have concerns or experience persistent skin reactions when using products containing glycerin, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional for guidance.
Does Glycerin Clog Pores?
We have linked thicker consistencies, similar to glycerin’s, with clogged pores and acne breakouts. But does glycerin clog pores?
To answer that question, I will employ the help of the system of comedogenic rating. Common ingredients in skincare products are rated on a scale of 0–5. The higher the number is, the higher the chances are that your pores may get clogged.
Generally, values of 2 and below are unlikely to cause clogged pores. So, products containing ingredients with these scores are considered non-comedogenic.
My oily-skinned friends, you can rejoice! Glycerin has a comedogenic rating of 0! This means that glycerin does not clog pores in any way, shape, or form.
Want to check the ingredients list of your favorite product? Or want to see if a product has the potential to clog your pores? Check out our free pore-clogging ingredient checker here!
Alternatives To Using Glycerin On The Skin
If you’re looking for alternatives to glycerin in skincare products, several ingredients can offer similar properties. Here are a few alternatives commonly used in the industry:
- Hyaluronic Acid: Known for its excellent hydrating abilities, hyaluronic acid can attract and retain moisture, keeping the skin plump and moisturized.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel is a natural ingredient with moisturizing properties and can soothe and hydrate the skin.
- Sodium PCA: Sodium PCA is a natural humectant that helps to retain moisture in the skin, providing hydration and maintaining its natural moisture balance.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: This is the salt form of hyaluronic acid and offers similar moisturizing benefits by attracting and retaining moisture in the skin.
- Butylene Glycol: Butylene glycol is a humectant that helps increase moisture levels in the skin and enhance the absorption of other ingredients.
- Panthenol: Also known as provitamin B5, panthenol has moisturizing and soothing properties, helping to improve the skin’s hydration and promote healing.
- Betaine: Betaine is a natural amino acid derivative that helps to retain moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and supple.
- Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a humectant commonly used in skincare products to attract and retain moisture in the skin.
Conclusion: What Does Glycerin Do For The Skin
Throughout this article, I’ve discussed the various benefits of glycerin for the skin. Now, it’s time to wrap everything up and share my final thoughts on this versatile substance.
Glycerin is a powerful, natural ingredient that offers an array of advantages for our skin. To recap, here are some principal gains:
- Hydration and Moisturization: Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts water and helps the skin retain moisture, resulting in softer and more supple skin.
- Healing: It accelerates skin repair by promoting cell regeneration and wound healing.
- Gentleness: Glycerin is gentle and safe for most skin types, including sensitive skin.
- Combats Dryness: Its ability to balance skin hydration makes it an excellent choice for dry or irritated skin.
- Elasticity: By nourishing and hydrating, glycerin helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycerin is a powerful ally in our quest for healthy and radiant skin. Incorporating this ingredient into our daily skincare routine can have a significant impact on the appearance and well-being of our skin.
Though it may not be a miracle cure, it certainly offers an impressive array of benefits for a simple, naturally derived substance. So, if you’re looking to improve the hydration, repair, and overall health of your skin, consider adding it to your skincare regimen.
Get your skincare routine back to basics with the benefits of glycerin for the skin. Set the foundation for profound moisture and build from there for a complexion full of radiance and vitality!