Glycerin, also known as glycerol or glycerine, is an ingredient used commonly in cosmetics. And there’s a reason why – this little ‘ole ingredient packs one hefty punch!
Glycerin is present in all natural fats, both vegetable and animal. It also is found naturally in the skin as part of its NMF (natural moisturizing factor) where it acts to protect the skin against dryness, helping it to look and feel healthy. It may be derived from natural substances and also can be manufactured synthetically. Whether from natural or synthetic sources, its action on your skin is the same.
Glycerin Skin Benefits
Glycerin offers many benefits to skin including:
- Humectant/Hydration. Its ability to absorb moisture from the air can help to increase the skin’s moisture content. However, there can be too much of a good thing as very high concentrations of glycerin can actually take moisture away from skin, leading to dryness. This is a major drawback of any humectant – water from the skin’s lower layers may be attracted to the upper layers and then lost to the environment. For this reason, glycerin is often combined with other ingredients to minimize water loss and is unlikely to be problematic in well formulated cosmetics.
- Emollient. Unlike its humectant, moisture attracting properties, glycerin’s emollient action helps to keep moisture in by forming a protective layer over the skin. This improves the skin’s barrier function, which assists in increasing the thickness of the epidermal layer and helps keep harmful chemicals and environmental elements out of the skin and locks moisture in.
- Improves Skin Appearance. By keeping the moisture level of the skin on track skin appears and feels soft and smooth.
- Wound Healing. Its effects on wound healing are due to its ability to signal skin cells to mature properly. This means that it has the potential to help with diseases including psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Studies have shown that glycerin may also have antimicrobial properties but further research is required. It is suitable for all skin types – including oily skin, where its humectant properties can help the skin stay hydrated without additional oil. It’s been shown to help acne heal faster, and it may minimize the appearance of acne scars.
You can find glycerin in many Apothekari Skincare treatments because it offers so many skin benefits and very little disadvantage. Glycerin, we love you!