Glycerin Benefits for Skin

Exploring the Benefits of Glycerin for Skin Health

By Felix Tajanko

JUN 11, 2023

If you’re diligent about checking the ingredient label, you may notice glycerin popping up repeatedly in your skin care products. So, what is glycerin, exactly? Glycerin is one of the most commonly used ingredients in topical skin care products today, owing to its many useful properties, such as being anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, hydrating, non-comedogenic and inert. This blog will delve into the key glycerin benefits for skin, particularly how it hydrates, softens, and smooths your skin.

01 Benefits of glycerin

Glycerin is full of beneficial properties that make it useful in both the medicinal and skin care industries. Particularly, it’s been found to have wound healing and anti-microbial properties, helping speed up recovery and reduce the risk of infection. As pure glycerin is a humectant, it attracts and retains moisture at the site of the wound, which can mitigate inflammation and encourage the growth of new skin cells. Its bacteriostatic properties, the ability to restrain the development or reproduction of bacteria, also aid in preventing inflammation due to infection.1

The hydrating and emolliating properties of glycerin have established it as a mainstay in a vast array of skin care formulations. Glycerin is highly effective as a humectant, allowing it to retain moisture deep in the skin, in turn stimulating the production of collagen which can help with skin tightening and strengthening.. Glycerin also has the ability to even out the texture of the skin by softening and smoothing it – filling in the gaps between skin cells.2 Finally, glycerin is non-toxic and non-comedogenic, ensuring it is suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin. As a whole, glycerin has fantastic properties for boosting the health of skin and working well in many formulations.

Strengthening skin barrier

Two of the most important components for a healthy skin barrier are moisture and collagen, which when lacking in the skin can result in frail, wrinkled, or loose skin. When this outer skin layer is weakened, its ability to protect against pollutants, irritants, and bacteria is compromised. This can lead to dryness, itching, and sensitivity of the skin. It can also accelerate the signs of aging skin, especially the development of wrinkles and fine lines.3 Glycerin helps bolster the skin barrier by increasing skin hydration and boosting collagen synthesis. The moisturizing property of glycerin helps prevent skin from drying out, while the increased collagen production helps skin maintain its shape and form.4

Soften and smooth Skin

It’s difficult to have soft and smooth skin without being moisturized and well-hydrated. That’s because optimal water levels in skin are essential for skin cells to function and regenerate properly. Glycerin provides moisture and skin hydration, as it is both a humectant and emollient. As a humectant, glycerin draws moisture into the skin and as an emollient, glycerin creates a physical protective layer on the skin, filling in the gaps between skin cells and trapping moisture in the deeper layers of the skin.5

Skin tightening

While glycerin is primarily known for its ability to moisturize the skin, it is also a skin firming ingredient. Immediate firmness from glycerin use is achieved by drawing water deep into the skin, increasing skin’s volume and plumpness. And while the increased firmness from hydration is temporary, the collagen synthesis that can result from consistent topical application of glycerin allows for more long-term firmness [4].
We all grow older. Our skin doesn’t have to. Learn more!

02 How glycerin helps skin care work better

Dry skin is problematic for the effectiveness of the skin care product as it can hinder their absorption into the skin.6 This is the reason why most skin care routines begin by washing and sometimes exfoliating the skin, helping to clear away dead skin cells, dirt, and pollutants that could otherwise prevent ingredient absorption. It’s recommended to apply glycerin while skin is still slightly damp from cleansing, so it can retain water molecules and hold them close to your skin. If glycerin is not already included in a skin care product among your routine, you may introduce it by mixing glycerin with water or aloe vera gel in a 1:4 ratio.7

03 How OneSkin uses Glycerin

With all the beneficial properties of glycerin, it's clear why glycerin is a core humectant in OneSkin’s Products like our peptide moisturizer and peptide eye cream. Like all ingredients that OneSkin uses, the glycerin contained in OneSkin’s formulas is sustainably sourced, data-validated, and of premium quality. In particular, the glycerin in our gel cleanser, PREP, is sourced from Amazon Oils, a vendor located in Brazil amongst the largest fluvial-maritime archipelago in the world, with an enviable diversity of plant species. These wild species grow naturally in the rainforest and are extracted sustainably without pesticides or fertilizers, then cold extracted with no added preservatives or additives.

Key Takeaways

  • Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it's able to attract and retain moisture when absorbed into the skin.
  • As a natural emollient, glycerin helps to soften and smooth the surface of the skin.
  • Glycerin helps to soothe dry or irritated skin by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • The moist environment created by glycerin can reduce inflammation and encourage cell proliferation.
  • Glycerin is bacteriostatic, which aids in preventing inflammation due to infection.
  • Glycerin has been found to be non-irritating, non-toxic, and non-comedogenic.
  • Glycerin is safe for use on oily skin types or acne-prone skin types.
  • Glycerin helps to strengthen, smoothen, and tighten the skin barrier.

By Felix Tajanko:
Felix is studying Bioengineering at the University of California - San Diego and is passionate about scientific writing as well as the research of hormones and microhemodynamics.


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