A Guide to 9 Wonderful Skin Benefits of Glycerin

As a rookie in skincare or a user of skin care products with less knowledge, you may be familiar with hyaluronic acid1 and retinol, which stay in trend all the time. But glycerin, a wonderful multi-tasker ingredient, often remains unknown.

Glycerin’s skin benefits will delight you. It is present in almost all skincare products and fulfills all skin needs, from hydration to minimizing pores.

This article will discuss glycerin, its benefits, how to use it, and some FAQs. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.

A dainty description of Glycerin

Glycerin is a soft humectant2, a moisturizing agent like hyaluronic acid, good for your skin and hair, and has a sweet taste. It is a clear, syrupy, odorless liquid used in every product, from glycerin soaps, toners, and shampoos to facial creams and facial cleansers.

Glycerin can be extracted from vegetable oils or animal fats and made synthetically. No matter whether it is natural or synthetic glycerin, both of them deliver the same benefits.

Most skin products contain plant-based glycerin, which makes them vegan-friendly. Glycerin can help soothe dry skin, increase hydration, and protect skin from harmful microorganisms. Even apart from skincare, glycerin has various uses and benefits. Due to its versatility, benefits, and wide availability, glycerin is essential to your skincare routine.

Note: Glycerin is classified as safe for the skin; even so, a patch test is recommended for people with sensitive skin. As it may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Skin benefits of glycerin

In food and cosmetic products, glycerin acts as a preservative and sweetening and thickening agent while providing other advantages.

But it does wonders for your skincare. Glycerin is often confused just as an agent that attracts moisture. But it has various incredible benefits; it repairs cracked skin, hydrates the epidermis, turns skin soft, maintains good skin health, etc.

1. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Moisturizes skin

Glycerin is a humectant, so it helps moisturize the skin by attracting water molecules from the environment and deeper layers to the outer layer and preventing their evaporation from the skin’s surface. This keeps the skin hydrated for a longer period.

A scientific study revealed that due to glycerin’s hydrating properties, adding glycerin to bathing water can improve skin moisture levels for both dry and oily skin types. It is also a great ingredient for parched skin.

2. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Helps Stay Young

Skin benefits of glycerin
Image Source: kroshka_nastya/ freepik

Glycerin works its magic to help your skin look and feel young. It brings moisture to the top of the skin, which eventually helps reduce or eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. It is one of the best skin benefits of glycerin.

Various studies show that glycerin helps slow down aging. The properties of glycerin allow your skin cells to mature properly and assist young skin cells in reaching the skin’s surface. Ensuring healthy, soft, and smooth skin with fewer aging signs.

3. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Helps with Skin Irritation or Discomfort

Glycerin can provide a calming sensation when applied and soothe dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, dilute glycerin will help prevent discomfort by forming a protective barrier to protect your skin from irritants. Glycerin also treats psoriasis, eczema3, and any temporary skin discomfort.

4. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Acts as a Protective Barrier for Skin

As mentioned earlier, one of the greatest skin benefits of glycerin is that it forms a protective barrier or shield. This skin barrier prevents your skin from getting damaged by the environment.

For example, it protects from UV rays, pollution, and other elements that can harm your skin cells. Additionally, this barrier helps lock the moisture and prevent your skin from getting flaky or rough.

5. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Helps in the wound-healing process

Glycerin is commonly used to heal wounds and rescue dry, damaged, or cracked skin. Its environmental barrier keeps bacteria and viruses out to prevent infection, speeding up the wound-healing process. After washing your hands, take a cotton ball and dip it for a second in glycerin. Then, apply it to the affected area.

Glycerin can also help revive dry or cracked skin, improving overall health.

6. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Helps Acne-prone skin

If you have acne-prone skin, glycerin can help moisturize and keep your skin acne-free. It can draw moisture from the environment and deeper skin cells to prevent skin from drying out. It removes dead skin cells and controls sebum and oil production, which helps to plump the skin and avert acne breakouts. Also, it heals acne scars by hydrating them.

7. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Treats Chapped lips

If you have chapped lips, they might get worse in winter and even lead to bleeding. Glycerin can be a one-stop solution; you can apply lip balm/gloss that contains glycerin on your lips. Using it regularly will help your lips turn normal or plump.

8. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Makes skin brighter

Glycerin’s rejuvenating properties make any skin tone and type feel brighter. Due to its ability to retain moisture and smooth out skin, your skin gets replenished with a healthy glow.

9. Skin Benefits of Glycerin: Safe and Gentle exfoliator for skin

When choosing skincare products, safety is the ideal thing to consider. Skin performs the important function of keeping fluids in and harmful bacteria out.

It helps maintain your body temperature. So, choosing a safe product becomes a priority, and there is no need to worry, as glycerin is totally safe for your skin.

The properties and skin benefits of glycerin make it feel gentle and calming on your skin. As glycerin is gentle on the skin, it is a great ingredient for cleansers to clean and moisturize your skin without causing any irritation or discomfort.

Effects of glycerin on different skin types

The skin benefits of glycerin are ideal for dry and oily skin types, but others can also benefit from it. This moisture magnet can help level your skin care with its amazing effects.

Further, we will discuss its effects on every skin type:

1. Cracked and Dry Skin: If you have dry or cracked skin, glycerin is the right aid. Being a humectant, its moisturizing properties keep your skin hydrated, plump, and smooth. Also, if you have chapped lips, lip balm containing glycerin is your go-to.

2. Oily Skin: People with oily skin often avoid using moisturizer, believing it will make their skin even oilier and may clog pores. But as glycerin is non-comedogenic, it doesn’t clog pores. Bathing soaps and facial glycerin cleansers help remove excess and control oil production.

3. Sensitive skin: Generally, glycerin is safe, gentle, non-irritating, and calming on the skin. But, if you have sensitive skin, you must do a patch test before use. Further in this article, you will find the steps to conduct a patch test on the skin for any product.

4. Acne-prone skin: If you have acne-prone skin, glycerin will be a great addition to your skincare routine. Acne is caused when your skin develops excess sebum, which gets mixed with dead skin cells and plugs the hair follicle. Glycerin-rich products help remove dead skin cells and hydrate the skin well. They also help prevent excess sebum production4.

(Note: To prevent acne, wash your face twice daily and moisturize after every wash. Be gentle, and try not to touch your face.)

5. Aging skin: One of the best skin benefits of glycerin is that it slows down skin aging and helps remove the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Its hydrating properties moisturize wrinkles and fine lines on the face, especially around the eyes, slowly making wrinkles disappear.

How to use glycerin on your face?

Skin benefits of glycerin
Image Source: Freepik

Using glycerin on the face may cause some skin discomfort or irritation. You must always dilute glycerin before applying it directly on your face as it is very safe, gentle, and easy to use on the face.

To use glycerin on the face, you must follow these certain steps:

  • Wash your face well with cold water.
  • Then, put glycerin on a cotton pad and gently dab it on your face.
  • Wait a few minutes for it to get absorbed.
  • Again, wash your face gently with water.

If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test before using cosmetics containing glycerin or any other skin care agent.

To conduct a patch test:

  • You must apply a small amount of product to a small skin area.
  • Wait for 24 hours, then check for any allergic reactions.
  • Look out for redness, swelling, or itching.
  • If you’re allergic to it, reactions may include hives and swelling.

How to add glycerin to your skincare routine?

Glycerin’s skin benefits make it a great addition to your skincare routine. This hydrating booster can fulfill all your skin needs alone or with other ingredients.

1. As a moisturizer

Purchase a moisturizer containing vegetable glycerine, as plant-based glycerin is non-comedogenic 5and beneficial for all skin types, including those with oily skin. Make sure to use both facial and body moisturizer after a bath.

2. As a facial cleanser

The usual harsh cleansers can dry out your skin and worsen your skin health in the long term. A facial cleanser with glycerin keeps skin hydrated and prevents washing off natural oils during cleansing.

3. As a toner

Glycerin can also be used as a hydrating toner. Due to the skin benefits of glycerin, various skincare brands provide a mixture of glycerin and hyaluronic acid or rose water in their toners to make it effective for the skin. You can easily find a formulated glycerin toner spray bottle from trusted brands.

4. As a lip balm

Glycerin is a common ingredient in lip balm/lip gloss. It helps treat and prevent cracked/chapped lips by moisturizing and healing the cracks. You can apply it directly to maintain your stunning lips.

FAQs

This article section is filled with all your questions and queries about glycerin.

1. How does glycerin work, and what does it do to your skin?

Skin benefits of glycerin
Image Source: senivpetro/ Freepik

Glycerin attracts water molecules from the air and extracts moisture from the dermis to lock the moisture to the upper layers of the skin. The water molecules create a skin protective barrier that protects the skin from the environment and helps water evaporate slowly. The skin benefits of glycerin result in much smoother and softer skin.

2. Is it Vegan or not?

Basically, there are two types of natural glycerin: animal glycerin and vegetable glycerin. Animal glycerin is derived from animal fats and oils, a sweet and thick syrupy liquid that can also be comedogenic.

Yes, it is non-vegan glycerin that can clog pores. However, vegetable glycerin is derived from plants and vegetable oils like animal glycerin. But it is also vegan 6and non-comedogenic.

Most skin products contain vegetable glycerin. To be cautious, you must review the label to confirm whether the product is vegan.

3. What are the side effects of Glycerin?

As glycerin sounds too good to be true, it may have side effects for dry or sensitive skin.

  • If you have dry skin, you must avoid using glycerin in a dry climate as it may even lead to drier skin by quickly evaporating water.
  • Try using it after a bath or in humid weather to keep your skin plump and moisturized for longer.
  • If you have sensitive skin, glycerin may cause an allergic reaction, like skin redness, itching, or swelling. So, glycerin should be used regularly after conducting a patch test and looking for any allergies.

4. Does glycerin clog your pores?

Vegetable glycerine is totally non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog your pores. It makes skin feel less oily and smoother while delivering a healthy glow.

Can you leave glycerin on your face overnight?

It is not a good practice to leave glycerin overnight on your face, as it attracts moisture from the deeper layers of the skin. Leaving glycerin overnight for a few months can dry the dermis, possibly leading to skin aging.

The best practice is leaving it on your face for 10-15 minutes and washing it off. Make sure to use diluted glycerin to prevent any skin discomfort.

Bottom Line

So, is glycerin good for your skin, and are its skin benefits true? Glycerin is an excellent compound for the skin. However, do not use too much glycerin, as it may lead to excessively hydrating oily skin and water loss in dry skin. Look out for your skin type and use glycerin accordingly.

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  1. Graça, Mariana FP, et al. “Hyaluronic acid—Based wound dressings: A review.” Carbohydrate polymers 241 (2020): 116364. ↩︎
  2. Crowther, Jonathan M. “Understanding humectant behaviour through their water‐holding properties.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science 43.5 (2021): 601-609. ↩︎
  3. Thyssen, Jacob P., et al. “Guidelines for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of hand eczema.” Contact Dermatitis 86.5 (2022): 357-378. ↩︎
  4. Laneri, Sonia, et al. “Plant cell culture extract of Cirsium eriophorum with skin pore refiner activity by modulating sebum production and inflammatory response.” Phytotherapy Research 35.1 (2021): 530-540. ↩︎
  5. Fontao, F., et al. “Microcomedones in non‐lesional acne prone skin new orientations on comedogenesis and its prevention.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 34.2 (2020): 357-364. ↩︎
  6. Bakaloudi, Dimitra Rafailia, et al. “Intake and adequacy of the vegan diet. A systematic review of the evidence.” Clinical nutrition 40.5 (2021): 3503-3521. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology

Authors

Divyansh Goyal
Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology
  1. Someone once told me that glycerin is not good for the skin because it can increase hair growth. Since then, I stopped using it until today. I wasn’t aware that glycerin is actually necessary for my skincare. However, I will follow your advice and not leave glycerin on my skin overnight because it can dry out my skin. I don’t want it to potentially lead to premature aging. Thank you for showing up with your excellent article.

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