Glycerin Properties And Application

Glycerin is often found in cosmetics because it has a positive effect on their consistency and durability. Strongly and deeply moisturizes and regenerates the skin. Find out what health properties glycerin has and what it is used for - not only in cosmetics.

Glycerin, also called glycerol, is a trihydric alcohol. It is a by-product of the soap manufacturing process. It is a thick, colorless and odorless liquid with a sweetish taste. It dissolves very well in water and alcohol. Due to the method of obtaining, glycerin is divided into:

  • natural - produced by saponification of vegetable fat (most often it is palm oil or coconut oil). It is also possible to create glycerin using animal fat.
  • synthetic - obtained from propylene, which is a gaseous carbohydrate produced from gasoline.
  • Glycerin: cosmetic properties

    Glycerin is a cheap and popular raw material used in the production of cosmetics. It is highly hygroscopic - which means that it absorbs water very well. It does not dissolve in fats, while being a good solvent for them.


    Thanks to this property, it works great as an ingredient of creams and lipsticks. It soothes the drying effect of ethyl alcohol. It has a good effect on the consistency of cosmetics, because it prevents them from drying out, crystallization of individual ingredients and improves the homogenization process (i.e. combining fatty ingredients, such as vegetable oils and butters with water ones).

    It also contributes to better preservation of substances - it reduces the activity of water, which is a breeding ground for microorganisms. Due to its small particles, glycerin easily penetrates into the stratum corneum, facilitating the transport of other nutrients into the skin.

    Glycerin: use in cosmetics

  • moisturizing creams for the body and face - because glycerin stores water and binds it in the epidermis, it has a positive and long-lasting effect on skin hydration. Its effect lasts up to 24 hours after application. Increases skin elasticity and makes it smooth;
  • hand and foot creams - softens calloused skin, soothes chapping and irritation;
  • creams for mature skin - makes the skin more elastic and taut, smoothes wrinkles. Accelerates regenerative processes. Perfectly moisturizes dehydrated skin;
  • protective creams for winter - glycerin provides excellent protection against frost and wind;
  • hair cosmetics - strengthens weak and falling out hair, gives it shine, smoothes split ends.
  • Most of the glycerin used in the industry is produced synthetically, but the way it is made has no effect on its effect on the body. In the composition of cosmetics, we can find it under the name "Glycerin".

    As cosmetics manufacturers are not required to indicate on the packaging whether glycerin was made from vegetable or animal fats, people avoiding animal products should look for cosmetics with the name `` Glycerin vegetal '' in the composition. In addition to cosmetics, glycerin is also used in the food, pharmaceutical and technical industries.

    Glycerin: how to apply?

    You can buy glycerin in its pure form at a pharmacy for a price of about $3 per 50 grams. We can add it to a home hair mask or use it to create a base for loose eyeshadows (to do this, mix it with water in a 1: 3 ratio). Glycerin is suitable for all skin types, but it is most recommended for people with dry, atopic or aging skin.


    Glycerin is an excipient and is usually found in a cosmetic in the right concentration, mixed with other ingredients, such as oils. Glycerin used in this way supports the functioning of the natural water-lipid barrier of the epidermis.

    Glycerin: is it allergic?

    Glycerin is non-toxic, its effect on the body is classified as neutral - although there are very rare cases of allergies (their symptom is a red rash). However, it should be remembered that this is an individual reaction of a sensitive organism that can be triggered by many safe substances.

    Cosmetics with glycerin are safer for sensitive skin than those with paraffin. You should also pay attention to the concentration of glycerin in cosmetics - the optimal value ranges from 5 to 15%, then glycerin ensures proper skin hydration.

    When it constitutes more than 25% of the composition of the entire product, it begins to have a disinfecting and drying effect (when applied in large amounts and in such a concentration, it absorbs water from the deeper layers of the epidermis and blocks the uptake of water from the environment).

    Glycerin for hair


    If you want to moisturize your hair, add a few drops of cosmetic glycerin to your favorite mask or conditioner. Repeat the treatment whenever you notice that the condition of your hair has deteriorated.

    Glycerin: properties and medicinal use

    Glycerin is used as a medicine that comes in the form of a liquid, eye drops, and rectal suppositories. The drug consists of an active substance, which is glycerol (usually an 86% solution) and an excipient.

    Glycerin can be used orally - then it has a laxative effect. The same effect can be achieved by using glycerin suppositories. They are locally irritating, stimulating intestinal peristalsis.

    Additionally, glycerin has moisturizing and moisturizing properties. By dissolving in the anus, it facilitates the glide and passage of fecal content in the intestines. In this way, glycerin suppositories support defecation. Usually it takes about an hour to empty your body. Glycerin suppositories are safe, so they can be used in constipation in children over 3 years of age, pregnant women and the elderly.

    Glycerin can also be used externally in hyperkeratosis and cracking of the epidermis. Applied externally to the skin, it also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It soothes skin irritations.

    Glycerol is also one of the ingredients in eye drops that are used to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes when they are dry and burning. They are applied topically to the conjunctival sac - 1-2 drops in each eye.

    Do not use the product if you are allergic to glycerol.

    Glycerin is also found in our body - it is mainly produced by the kidneys and liver.