Glycerin is the most commonly used emollient. It counters skin dryness and cracking. It is also called glycerol, an organic compound having multiple Hydroxyl groups in its structure (polyols). It is a non-toxic, sweet and colorless compound obtained from both animal (a lipid component) and plant sources (i.e. soya beans, cane, etc) and can also be synthesized in the laboratory.
It is used in food products to mask the bitter or unpleasant taste and as a solvent in different formulations. In cosmetic products, it is intended to give a moisturizing effect and increase the smoothness and wellness of the skin. It is easily washable and can be cleansed or remove with water from the skin surface.
Its safety is approved by US FDA in cosmetics, foods and other skincare products.
Glycerin act as emollient and humectant to improve skin firmness and hydration. Dryness is caused by water loss from the outer surface of the skin results in itching, flaking, cracks, and irritation. Glycerin forms a layer on the outer surface where it draws and traps the water molecules, and increases the smoothness, the softness of the skin and relieves dryness and cracks. It may be used alone or in combination with other ingredients to treat the different dermatological conditions. Glycerin is used for decades to counter such the above skin conditions and provide comfort and relief.
Uses of Glycerin:
Glycerin is used as a humectant and some time as a preservative in cosmetic formulations. It increases hydration and provides moisturization, soothing effect, lubrication and smoothness to the dry, scaly and rough skins. It is used in cosmetics to prevent itchiness and irritation. It has also a mild antimicrobial activity and can be beneficial in healing minor wounds on the skin.
As a preservative, it is added to different cosmetic formulations to prevent the microbial attack and maintain its stability for a longer period.
Apart from the skincare agent, it is also used as a hair conditioning agent, viscosity decreasing, and fragrance and perfuming agent. It also acts as a barrier and protects the skin from the harsh and negative effects of environmental factors.
Precautionary measures regarding the use of Glycerin:
The use of glycerin is associated with certain cautions. Glycerin should not be used for dermatological infections. It should not be applied to broken skin or the wounded part of the skin. It should be used consistently for better action and before application to an area of skin, properly clean that dry part. In case of any adverse effects, contact your dermatologist or pharmacist. Don’t touch your eyes during application and clean your hands thoroughly after its application. In case of any hypersensitivity reaction contact your physician immediately.