Vegetable glycerin - what it is, why to have it at home and how to use it correctly

Vegetable glycerin - what it is, why to have it at home and how to use it correctly
Vegetable glycerin is one of those ingredients that you should always have on hand. It's cheap, effective, safe, and has tons of uses! Don't you believe? Read on!More information
Ingredients for this recipeGlycerin
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Vegetable glycerin is a kind of Cinderella among cosmetic ingredients – its name doesn't exactly sound interesting, and its appearance doesn't attract much attention either. Therefore, we often overlook it and see no reason to acquire it. But the opposite is true! Vegetable glycerin is an indispensable part of most skin, body and hair care products, both conventional and natural. And for many reasons.
Let's give this humble hero some much-deserved attention, explore its capabilities, and see for yourself that it's good to have at home, even if you're not making natural homemade hand sanitizer!

Plant, animal and synthetic

Glycerin or, if you prefer, glycerol is a colorless liquid viscous liquid that has no smell. It is an alcohol made by derivation from animal products, petroleum or plants. We give it attributes accordingly – you can find animal, synthetic or vegetable glycerin on the market. We are naturally interested in the vegetable one, which is one of the most used raw materials in the production of natural cosmetics.

At Ekokoze, you can find glycerin of vegetable origin without palm oil - if you have avoided glycerin until now just because of "palm oil", you don't have to anymore!

Where did he come from?

It is said that vegetable glycerin was discovered two centuries ago and attracted attention at the end of the 19th century, when it began to be used in the production of dynamite. It is made by heating vegetable fats rich in triglycerides, such as soybean, palm or coconut oil, together with a strong base such as lye. Pressing and heating causes the glycerin to "break away" from the fatty acids, mix with water, and form a sweet, odorless liquid that resembles a colorless syrup in appearance and consistency.

Glycerin, wherever you look

Although it may not seem like it at first glance, glycerin is everywhere! The vegetable one is used not only in cosmetics, but also in the food or pharmaceutical industry. It is then most often used as an additive to facilitate the mixing of water and oils, and to sweeten and moisten the final product, whatever it may be.

Glycerin is a common and irreplaceable part of the whole range of drugs and medications - from heart medicines, to cough syrups and suppositories to anesthetics. It is very likely (if you do not use homemade, powdered or tablet paste) that you will also find it in your toothpaste - it prevents the product from drying out and hardening in the tube.

And you'll find it where you might not expect it. For example, in ice cream and all kinds of desserts and goodies, especially frozen ones! Why is it there? It prevents the formation of ice crystals, so the next time you enjoy a fluffy ice cream, remember glycerin and thank it! :)

And what we enjoy the most is, of course, the fact that it cannot be missing in the production of soaps, candles, creams, deodorants or decorative cosmetics.

What are his superpowers?

Vegetable glycerin, as it seems recently, has more abilities and benefits for our health than we have so far assumed. It turns out that glycerin might be a great dietary supplement for athletes or an excellent aid against constipation. However, these properties of glycerine are not sufficiently scientifically supported yet, so we will stick to what we know 100% - the benefits of glycerine for our skin and hair!

Moisturizes and hydrates like no other

If you need to moisturize and hydrate your skin, vegetable glycerin is simply number one. Glycerin is a so-called humectant or moisturizer, and according to a study from 2016 (see), the best! It binds water excellently, allows other substances to be quickly absorbed into the skin and helps the skin retain moisture. The result is soft, smooth and supple skin!

Studies confirm that regular application of glycerin to the skin - in creams or other preparations - gradually increases its softness and elasticity and increases the hydration of the skin in less than 10 days (see and see).

In addition, another study (see) showed that creams with glycerin are more effective than those with silicone or even with hyaluronic acid in terms of hydration and maintaining moisture in the skin!

He won't annoy you

Another great feature of glycerin is that it is non-irritating. We have glycerin in ourselves - it is found in all fats and oils, including those in the human body. So it is not a foreign substance to us against which we start to defend ourselves, but a friend who will provide support whenever we need it.

It makes the skin healthy and happy

Vegetable glycerin helps with skin healing, prevents skin damage, protects against infection and inflammation, and overall contributes to skin health and well-being. It also acts as an effective barrier protecting the skin from negative environmental influences such as strong wind, cold or dryness.

It is also great for fighting eczema! According to this study (see), vegetable glycerin effectively reduces burning and stinging sensations in eczema patients (compared to a placebo).

So let's wrap it up! Vegetable glycerin is an excellent skin moisturizer, reduces skin irritation, protects against infections, accelerates healing and is suitable for eczema, allergies and people with sensitive skin.

Does it have any cons?

Vegetable glycerin is generally considered a very safe substance. However - as with everything - if you are going to apply glycerin directly to the skin in its undiluted form, do not apply directly to the whole body, but first try how you will tolerate applying a small amount to a small piece of skin.

How to use it correctly?

It is necessary to think that the ability of glycerin, which we can imagine as a kind of magnet for water, also works "in reverse", and that glycerin cannot choose which moisture it attracts to itself. It effectively absorbs any water – even the water inside us. In high concentrations and in a dry environment, it can dry and dehydrate the skin and hair unexpectedly - if the glycerin applied to the skin does not have another source of moisture, it will draw water from the deep layers to the upper parts, and the skin may then lose its natural moisture .

Therefore, although some people use glycerin undiluted, in our opinion (and according to professionals and scientists who deal with this issue) it is good to use glycerin mixed with water, flower water or another preparation that already contains water. It gets along well, for example, with rose water, which hydrates and tightens pores, but also with other hydrolates and flower waters.

Since this text is already quite long, we will save the exact examples and ideas for the use of glycerin for another article. For inspiration, we will mention that glycerin is great in nail polish removers, various toners or lotions, face serums (including hyaluronic), hair and skin masks, of course in various creams, milks and body butters, and we must not forget decorator – perfectly supports the color of eye shadows and creates a divine texture of cream eyeliners!

Where can you not miss glycerin? Or you haven't fallen for him yet?

When writing the text, we were based on the mentioned studies as well as information from the Healthline website.

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