Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a colorless and odorless liquid with a thick consistency. This skin care ingredient is commonly found in toners, moisturizers, lotions, soaps and ointments. Perhaps the most popular use for glycerin in skin care is as an emollient and a moisturizing agent. One of the reasons that glycerin is such a beneficial and popular skin care ingredient is that it can be used on all skin types, including oily skin. Additionally, glycerin is tolerated well by most people without any irritation. Below, find out what the uses of glycerin are and how you can incorporate this skin care ingredient into your routine.
Maintaining Water Balance
Glycerin is a humectant, meaning that it is able to draw moisture out of the air and attracts this moisture into the skin. This skin care ingredient is perfect for those who struggle with dry, dehydrated skin because it not only sucks moisture into the skin, it then minimizes water loss due to evaporation and maintains your skin’s water balance on a cellular level. All of this keeps your skin well hydrated for long periods of time. Glycerin can be used to treat dry skin, or as a daily measure to protect against dry skin.
Protecting Your Skin
As a humectant, glycerin not only adds moisture from the air to your skin, but it locks it into place and fills in any cracks or gaps in moisture on your skin. Your skin’s outer layer functions as a barrier that keeps harmful substances like pollutants and bacteria out of your skin, while trapping water and other beneficial substances in your skin. Glycerin, because it fills in cracks and seals in moisture, helps strengthen your skin’s barrier function for healthier skin.
Glycerin can be used in the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis because of its role in cell maturation. Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells shed too quickly before they have a chance to fully mature, which results in thick and scaly skin. A study in the December 2003 issue of Journal of Investigative Dermatology notes that when glycerin is applied topically, it signals the skin cells to mature properly before shedding. Additionally, it is thought that because of this function, glycerin can also be useful in curing problems associated with oily or acne-prone skin like blackheads and pimples.
Glycerin is gentle on the skin, and can be used no matter what type of skin you have. This skin care ingredient can dramatically improve the appearance of dull skin, making it look healthier. The hydrating properties of glycerin contribute to increased moisture in skin and to your skin looking and feeling softer, smoother and more supple. To get the benefits of glycerin, look for skin care products that contain this ingredient like toners, masks and intensive moisturizers.