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Benefits, Uses & Possible Side Effects of Glycerin for Skin

Glycerin for Skin

With water and fragrance, glycerin is the third most frequently reported ingredient in cosmetics.

Acknowledged as the major ingredient in moisturizers and lotions, buying and using glycerin in its pure form is growing in popularity.

What is glycerin?

Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a natural compound obtained from vegetable oils or animal fats. It’s a colourless, odourless and syrupy liquid with a sweet taste.

Glycerin is an emollient, a type of moisturizing agent that pulls water into the outer layer of your skin from deeper levels of your skin and the air.

In skincare products, glycerin for skin is commonly used with occlusives, another type of moisturizing agent, to seal the moisture that it draws into the skin.

Glycerin is considered the most effective emollient in comparison to various others, including:

  • alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid
  • hyaluronic acid
  • propylene glycol and butylene glycol
  • Sorbitol
  • urea

Glycerin Uses

What is glycerin used for? It is best known for its usage in skincare products.

It’s not at all difficult to find a glycerin soap or a glycerin cream in a local drugstore. 

As an emollient, this is often found as an ingredient in cosmetic products.

Products that commonly contain this ingredient include:

  • face washes
  • skin creams and lotions
  • skin serums
  • skin toners
  • soap
  • mouthwashes
  • cough medicine
  • condensed milk
  • processed meats
  • soybean products
  • condiments
  • commercial baked goods
  • e-cigarette liquid

Glycerine benefits for skin

There are various benefits of glycerine in skincare, whether you have oily skin, sensitive skin or dry skin. All-natural, pure glycerine skincare products have no harmful effect on the surroundings.

Let's take a look at the benefits of using natural glycerine for skincare.

  1. Keeps skin young

Applying glycerine to skin locks in moisture in your skin and gives it a healthy and youthful glow. By absorbing moisture to the top layer of skin, glycerine helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles and keeps the skin smooth and soft.

Glycerine also helps to improve the function of the skin to slow down ageing. Glycerine for the face helps guide the young skin cells to form the skin's protective shield. As a result, glycerine makes skin look and function better.

  1. Reduces acne

Strong skincare products can make acne worse by causing inflammation and irritation. Glycerine, however, can be used to enhance your skin without the side effects of any harsher products.

Also, glycerine is oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog the pores as they lead to breakouts, so glycerine for oily skin may be the right solution.

  1. It's safe

Your skin plays an important role in shielding your body by keeping fluids in, keeping harmful bacteria and viruses out and regulating your body temperature even. Therefore, you would want to use safe products that help to promote healthy skin.

Some perfumes and chemicals can make your skin dry, clog the pores or cause irritation. Glycerine is safe to use as it will not clog pores or dry out the skin.

  1. It's gentle

Gentle cleansers and moisturizers are vital for keeping skin comfortable and healthy, especially for individuals who are more prone to acne.

Glycerine offers a gentle way to exfoliate, clean and moisturize the skin without causing any irritation. Gentle cleansers that include glycerine are good for individuals with dry skin, as well.

  1. Heals skin

Glycerine increases skin hydration if the skin is dry, damaged and cracked. Glycerine can be used to help skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis and to help heal wounds resulting from cracked skin. Overall, glycerine promotes skin health by improving skin function, fastening the wound healing process, and protecting skin against irritants. 

  1. Moisturizes skin

Glycerine draws more moisture to itself. It also helps decline the evaporation of water from the skin, which helps to keep skin moist and hydrated in winter.

  1. Protects skin

A moisturizing lotion containing glycerine locks moisture in your skin and is helpful in protecting hands, feet, elbows, knees and other parts of the body that typically get dry. 

To further protect your skin, it's good to apply glycerine after showering. Glycerine will help lock moisture in your skin after you wash the natural oils away from the body. 

  1. Preserves other ingredients

Glycerine acts as a preservative along with other health benefits. Glycerine has amazing antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It's both a solvent and preservative in most skincare products that contain herbal extracts.

Can glycerin irritate my skin?

As a humectant, glycerin draws water from the nearest source of water which is the lower levels of your skin. 

For this, it’s better to dilute glycerin before using it on your face and skin.

Many supporters of natural cosmetics recommend diluting glycerin with rosewater, as it hydrates the skin and refines pores.

A combination of glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and Centella Asiatica extract improves skin barrier function for approx 24 hours after application.

Are there side effects?

Although there are not many reported side effects, glycerin is a natural product, so there’s always a potential for an allergic reaction.

If you experience redness, rash, or itching stop using it immediately. Look for another alternate product that doesn’t contain glycerin, and be sure to read the labels of all products carefully before using it.

Take Away

The skin on the face is very much delicate. In certain conditions, glycerin can dehydrate the skin, so consider diluting it with water or another ingredient.

If after applying glycerin to your skin, you notice an allergic reaction, stop using it immediately.

Before using glycerin, check with your doctor to make sure it’s a good fit for you and won’t interfere with any other health conditions.