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Understanding the Benefits of Glycerine for Skin Health

Medically reviewed by Sue Kua, MD · Dermatology

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Nov 06, 2022

Understanding the Benefits of Glycerine for Skin Health

Glycerine is a common ingredient in many different skincare products. But what is glycerine? And what benefits can we get from it? This article will give you an idea of the many benefits it provides. 

What Is Glycerine?

Glycerine, or better known as glycerol, is a naturally occurring sweet syrupy liquid, that is colorless and odorless. This trihydroxy sugar alcohol is taken from vegetable and animal fats, which can either be natural or synthetic. 

Natural glycerine is created by hydrolyzing the said animal or vegetable fats. On the other hand, chemical processes which involves other substances like petroleum, propylene, and chlorine aid in the production of synthetic glycerine.

It works wonders with its 1,500 well-regarded uses such as:

  • Humectant
  • Solvent
  • Emollient
  • Sweetener
  • Bodying agent
  • Preservative
  • Filler in low-fat foods
  • Alcohol-free solvent for botanical extracts, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical agents
  • Thickening agent in liqueurs
  • Hydrating agent in sports and energy drinks, as well as in meat casings, cellophane, and cosmetics
  • All these can be found in products ranging from cosmetics to food. But, nowadays, people are much interested in its value for the skin. 

    3 Benefits of Glycerine for Skin

    Glycerine for skin which is used in products such as cleansers, toners, sunscreens, and moisturizers offers many good things for consumers. Here are a few of those benefits: 

    1. It Helps Moisturize the Skin

    At the top of the list is how glycerine provides exceptional moisture

    A number of scientific studies show the efficiency and effectiveness of glycerine in moisturizing and hydrating the skin. A research published in the Asian Journal of Beauty and Cosmetology compared glycerine-containing creams to creams without the said substance. Scientists revealed that creams having both glycerine and silicone oil on the ingredient list had the highest moisturizing value and maintained the longest duration of hydration. Moreover, the cream containing glycerine performed better in terms of increasing skin hydration and decreasing water loss.

    2. It Keeps the Skin Young and Supple

    Another benefit of glycerine for skin goes hand in hand with the first one. Locking your skin with moisture also keeps the skin supple, giving you that healthy and youthful glow.

    The moisture on the dermis (a layer of the skin) from this humectant reduces the appearance of wrinkles and keeps the skin soft and smooth. 

    A study from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that it may also aid in the proper maturation of skin cells. Glycerine facilitates the movement of young skin cells from the deepest layers to the surface, where they establish the skin barrier. As a result, it improves the overall appearance, texture, and function of the skin.

    Furthermore, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends the use of facial moisturizer every day, and to gently cleanse your skin to prevent premature skin aging. 

    Glycerine is ideal for gentle cleaning and moisturizing as it does not strip the natural oils from your face.

    3. It Helps with Acne and Other Skin Conditions

    Glycerine is an oil-free and non-comedogenic substance, thus it won’t clog your pores that would cause further breakouts. 

    Because the aim is to heal acne, some ingredients in acne cleansers and moisturizers tend to get too strong and harsh for the skin. Hence, it may lead to aggravating the inflammation and irritation. The good thing is, glycerine for skin can aid in the improvement of the skin minus the negative side effects from harsher skincare products. It also demonstrates some antimicrobial properties to aid the healing.

    In addition to that, people with dry skin can greatly benefit from glycerine in a skincare tub as it can help hydrate the skin when it is dry, damaged, or cracked. It could treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as heal wounds caused by cracked skin. 

    Key Takeaways

    In general, glycerine for skin promotes skin health by locking in moisture, speeding up the process of wound healing and protecting the skin from other irritants. Whether you have oily, dry, or even sensitive skin, glycerine for skin can help you achieve moisturized and soft skin.

    Learn more about Skin care and Cleansing here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Sue Kua, MD


    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Nov 06, 2022

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