What Is Glycerin And What Are Its Skincare Benefits?

What Is Glycerin And What Are Its Skincare Benefits?

Today we are introducing you to an ingredient that you may have heard of before but may have underestimated in how powerful it is and the impressive results delivered in your everyday skincare routine. So, what exactly is Glycerin and what benefits can you expect to see on the skin? Let’s find out more.


What are the benefits of Glycerin?

You will find Glycerin is a natural component in healthy skin and is found in a variety of skincare products and can be derived from vegetables, animals sources and also be synthetically made to be formulated into high performing and hydrating products. This is also helped by the fact that Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it is able to draw in moisture from the air around us and helps to lock in the moisture in the skin. With these clever hydrating properties the skin’s natural moisturising factors (NMF) is also helped by Glycerin due to the fact it is able to mimic the NMF of the skin allowing it to replenish and nourish which begins to deplete as we age. If you are wanting to find out more you can check out our blog post about what are natural moisturising factors (NMF) and their skin benefits.


Glycerin skincare benefits are plentiful and primarily provides hydration to the skin. Here are some other benefits to this skincare ingredient:


  1. Glycerin has the ability to work well with other emollients and oils allowing dry skin types to restore the moisture levels in the skin and become soft, supple and comfortable.
  2. Glycerin can help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier allowing the skin to look healthier with an overall younger-looking complexion.
  3. Glycerin can aid the skin in staying protected from environmental sources that can lead to irritation.
  4. Glycerin keeps the skin hydrated allowing other ingredients from skin care products to absorb quickly in the uppermost layers of the skin.
  5. Glycerin improves the appearance of the skin with notable improvement to any signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.


By being compatible with all skin types Glycerin plays an important role in maintaining the skin’s moisture and keeping the balance to the skin, especially during the seasonal changes that can intervene with the skin’s health when temperatures begin to drop and the climate becomes drier.


What is Glycerin used for in skincare?

In skincare, Glycerin is commonly used with other types of moisturising agents to lock in moisture into the skin. It’s ability to do it so well has lead it to become dubbed the most effective humectant in various studies taken over the years. There are a number of other humectants that are found in skincare products such as:


  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as glycolic and lactic acid
  • Propylene glycol and butylene glycol
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Sorbitol
  • Urea


 The popularity of Glycerin is growing steadily and is one of the major ingredients found in moisturisers and body lotions as it can have a positive effect on the skin by helping to diminish fine lines and wrinkles on the skin that can become quite noticeable when the skin is lacking in hydration. It can also help with the other factors that have been previously mentioned and therefore helping with the overall health and appearance of the skin.

Can I use Glycerin on my face every day?

Glycerin is found in many skin care products and has been known to be gentle for all skin types to use on a regular basis as it attracts moisture from the surrounding environment and the inner layers of the skin.  When using Glycerin overnight however there are some precautionary steps to avoid the skin from eventually resulting in becoming dry and start to show the signs of premature ageing. If you are using Glycerin in its raw form it is best to apply a liberal layer over the skin and leave it for about 15-20 minutes before washing it off with warm water. If, however, you have a product that contains the ingredient that has been diluted properly you are safe to leave it on overnight.

Is Glycerin anti-ageing?

To say Glycerin itself is an anti-ageing ingredient would not be completely accurate, but it is certainly an ingredient that can aid and prevent the first signs of ageing. When are skin is dehydrated, which can happen quite frequently, it reflects in the appearance of our skin leading to the skin being mistaken for looking older than it is, with fine lines and wrinkles. Once Glycerin is applied to the skin with its water pulling properties the skin will become smoother, plumped and full of bounce with any noticeable lines visibly reduced.

Glycerin also helps with combating the ageing of the skin by providing protection from any free radicals and other environmental stresses, such as UV rays, pollution and factors of urban living. All of which are highly damaging to the skin’s natural protective barrier diminishing the water and oil levels making its defence against the elements weaker and so rapid ageing to the skin occurs. Luckily Glycerin can restore the correct levels of water for the barrier to be fully functioning a keeping the skin healthy and happy.


What are the side effects of Glycerin?

Glycerin is considered safe to use for all skin types and can benefit the skin in a variety of ways. Having said this, however, it is important to remember that Glycerin is a natural ingredient and in some cases can cause redness, a rash and itching due to allergic reactions. If you perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying the product all over the skin this reaction can be prevented, if you do still suffer from a reaction it is best to stop using the product immediately and find an alternative that perhaps does not include as much Glycerin in the formula.


So, there you have a clearer understanding of what Glycerin and why you may have noticed it in a majority of your favourite skincare products. With this hydrating hero in your daily moisturiser, serum or cleanser your skin will look youthful and feel comfortable, certainly something to glow about!


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