This underappreciated skincare ingredient is a superhero for skin hydration! Let’s set the record straight and harvest the truth about glycerin for skincare.
We’re usually more excited by ingredients that sound complicated, exotic, or other-worldly. A complicated name does not always mean “success” or “effective”, but our minds prefer to believe it does. But this underrated ingredient is here to prove us wrong: glycerin.
We immediately think of hyaluronic acid as a moisture booster in skincare, but glycerin is its less glamorous but highly powerful sibling. You’ll find it in almost everything, not just in skincare items. That’s why you gotta need to know it better, babe.
The reasons glycerin for skincare deserves credit for its wonders!
What is glycerin?
Glycerin is a natural substance generated from vegetable oils or animal fats. It is a syrupy liquid with a sweet flavor. It is a component of triglycerides, which are naturally occurring lipids found in most lipid-containing compounds.
A Swedish scientist discovered glycerin in 1779 while producing soap from olive oil. Aside from plant and animal fats, they can be chemically manufactured. It is non-toxic and has a thick, viscous nature, making it a common ingredient in foods, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products.
It is a humectant—a moisturizing substance that draws water from deeper layers of the skin and the air. Glycerin for skincare products is commonly used with occlusives to retain skin moisture.
Glycerin is considered the “most effective humectant” based on a 2016 study. 
What does glycerin do to your skin? Is it good for your skin?
Glycerin helps maintain the skin’s protective barrier while also moisturizing the skin. To make the skin plumper and more youthful-looking, it pulls moisture from deep inside the skin to the epidermis. This also helps minimize wrinkles and fine lines by hydrating the skin.
Aren’t you wondering why glycerin is nearly in everything (skincare, cosmetics, etc.)? First, it keeps the product from drying out. Next, it preserves the items and keeps them from contamination. And lastly, glycerin is an extremely well-tolerated, safe, and common ingredient for all skin types, especially in more sensitive cases such as eczema or rosacea.
10 Benefits of Glycerin for Skincare
As stated previously, glycerin is a multifunctional component. While it is commonly thought of as a moisturizer, it does so much more!
Here are 10 benefits of glycerin for skincare you may or may not be aware of!
- Glycerin allows the skin to help itself hydrate by pulling moisture from the dermis up to the epidermis.
- Plant-based glycerin is especially gentle on delicate skin and can help relieve mild skin irritation.
- Using this for a few weeks or even days greatly plumps and softens your skin, especially if you have mature skin!
- It forms a barrier between the skin and potentially harmful factors.
- Did the summer sun leave your skin rough? The moisturizing properties of glycerin help smooth the skin.
- In addition to being a moisturizer, it aids in exfoliating, which helps brighten the skin.
- Because of its renewing and moisturizing characteristics, glycerin is essential for glowing skin!
- Glycerin is non-comedogenic. In other words, it won’t block pores!
- This versatile component can be used to add moisture to a variety of products. It’s great in moisturizers and conditioners!
- The extra moisture will do wonders for your skin’s appearance. Glycerin helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by bringing your skin’s natural moisture to the surface.
What skin types should use it?
One of the reasons I adore glycerin is that it works for all skin types. Various skin types benefit from it.
- Dry skin. Mousses and lotions with glycerin are great for dry skin. To give your skin an extra burst of hydration, it draws water from the dermis (second layer) up to the epidermis (top layer).
- Super-dry cracked skin. If you have really dry skin, you undoubtedly spend the winter months dealing with cracked skin. If left untreated, cracked skin can bleed and cause discomfort. Glycerin not only moisturizes but also prevents it from getting dry and unattractive!
- Oily skin. Because oily skin is more prone to breakouts, many people with oily skin avoid using moisturizer altogether. However, oily skin still requires extra moisture, especially in the winter. Because it is non-comedogenic, it won’t clog your pores. It also rejuvenates the skin.
- Combination skin. It forms a skin’s protective moisture barrier. That’s why it works so well for combo skins.
- Aging skin. Our skin becomes drierdryer and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles as we age. It’s critical to gradually boost skin moisture. Glycerin aids aging skin by both moisturizing and extracting moisture from its second layer. This will tighten and firm your skin while decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Sensitive skin. Its soothing, hydrating characteristics help calm sensitive skin while also moisturizing it. Also, keep in mind that plant-based glycerin is indeed less irritating.
The most important thing to remember, you should never use it as the only component in a skin care product, regardless of whether you have sensitive skin. Like moisturizers, it should be diluted.
How to use glycerin for your skin
As stated previously, it should be diluted with something like rosewater or vitamin E unless it’s already mixed in. Because glycerin absorbs moisture from the skin, using it alone can irritate, especially on the face.
- Use it to moisturize your face. Glycerin is known as a moisturizer. Most people are unaware that it does much more than merely refresh the skin. It draws moisture from the dermis up to the skin, keeping it nourished and plump. So when looking for a moisturizer, check for glycerin on the label.
- Cleanse with glycerin. You’ve probably seen glycerin soaps—they’re translucent and creamy to the touch. It is oil-free and non-comedogenic, making it a wonderful cleaner for blocked pores. Dry skin won’t become any drier thanks to its hydrating characteristics!
- Toner with glycerin. Rosewater and glycerin are the Venus and Serena of skincare ingredient pairings! Together, they attract and seal in moisture like no other, so if you have a rosewater toner, try adding a touch of glycerin to it and see if it makes your skin feel smoother!
- Use it as a makeup remover. It removes makeup! Use a cotton pad with glycerin and water to gently wipe your skin. Remove any glycerin residue with a tissue. If it’s too oily, add extra water.
- Make drab hair shine with glycerin. Finding the right amount of glycerin for your hair gloss takes some trial and error. Simply rub a few dabs of this ingredient into your hands and run them through your hair to add shine. Dull hair will shine with this!
- Glycerin is a lovely hair conditioner. The hydrating effects of glycerin work on both skin and hair! Use it as a conditioner on dry hair, but dilute it with your preferred conditioner. Also, if you have dyed hair, ask your stylist if it’s okay to do anything.
- You can use it as a lip gloss or moisturizer. This is vital since the lips are prone to dryness, creases, and fine lines.
- Revive old makeup with glycerin. Have a dried-out lipstick or foundation? Add a drop of glycerin and it may come back to life!
As you can see, glycerin is one of the most effective skincare ingredients, and you don’t have to be in a fight just to get it! LOL. Simply inspect the label next time you buy skincare products and look for its name. *wink
Other glycerin-related questions
Is glycerin vegan?
Yes! There is plant-based glycerin.
Is glycerin safe for the skin?
Yup, glycerin is very harmless for your skin! A little reminder to avoid irritation, dilute it with rosewater or vitamin E.
Is glycerin non-comedogenic?
As it is non-comedogenic, it won’t clog pores, making it ideal for oily skin.
Can I use glycerin on my face?
Definitely! You can, and should, apply it to your face. It helps draw moisture from deeper layers of the skin, plumping up the epidermis and giving it a youthful appearance!
Can I use glycerin on my lips?
Absolutely! Gloss with glycerin instead of petroleum jelly! Lips chafed? Use it! Hydrated skin is less prone to fine lines and wrinkles, which are particularly noticeable on the lips. Moreover, if your lipstick is a bit gunky, try adding some glycerin to it and witness the magic.
Skin lacking in moisture can feel tight, gritty, and flaky, making makeup application difficult. And if you are someone facing such dilemmas, then let glycerin skin care benefits do the talking. It may not be the first ingredient that jumps to mind when you think of all-star moisturizing substances, yet it’s found in almost every product in your skincare arsenal.
In case it’s still not evident, it is incredibly hydrating. Glycerin is one of the few moisturizing substances that have a long-lasting impact. Additionally, it helps boost aquaporin activity in the skin, improving hydration to the tissue. AMAZING! <3
That’s it, sister! Never take for granted the superpowers of glycerin for skincare. Maximize it! Love, love, love your skin.