• CAS number: 56-81-5 – Glycerin
  • Origin(s): Plant, Animal, Synthetic


  • Glycerin is a natural component in healthy skin and can be derived from vegetables, animal sources and synthetically for use in beauty products
  • Glycerin is a humectant and can attract moisture from the air and lock it into the skin for extra hydration to the skin
  • As one of the most popular ingredients and is regularly formulated into many products due to the fact it can be teamed with all manner of other skin ingredients, such as AHAs and hyaluronic acid
  • Although glycerin is praised for how gentle it is to the skin, it is considered best not to be used overnight in its raw form as this could result in the skin becoming dried out and tight


Seeing as it naturally occurs in the skin, it is safe for everyone to use. Those with dry skin can try teaming it with other humectant ingredients for optimal skin hydration.


Glycerin is a hugely popular skin ingredient that helps the skin gain huge amounts of hydration. With its humectant talents you can expect to find the skin’s natural moisturising factors (NMF) to flourish due to the hydrating properties of glycerin. The skin’s barrier will become healthy with any signs of damage caused by free radicals, such as UV exposure, pollution and central heating, will reversed and the complexion looking younger, plumped and glowing. By keeping the skin hydrated and barrier functioning properly glycerin enables other ingredients to absorb quickly into the uppermost layers of the skin allowing you to see results quicker.


As powerful as glycerin is at drawing in moisture and locking it into the skin, the worrying thing is that it never stops. If left in its raw form on the skin overnight you will find your face feels tight, uncomfortable and stripped of moisture by the morning due to glycerin absorbing all moisture, including other skincare products applied during your evening routine.


  • Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Glycerin- pages 275
  • The Journal of investigative dermatology., 2005 Aug;125(2):288-93., Is endogenous glycerol a determinant of stratum corneum hydration in humans?
  • Dry Skin and Moisturizers: Chemistry and Function, Marie Loden, Howard I. Maibach, chapter 20: Glycerol — Just a Moisturizer? Biological and Biophysical Effects



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