Glycerin is one of the ingredients that you most often encounter in cosmetics. You can find it in most toiletries, from soap to moisturizer. But why is glycerine so popular? And what about the criticism, it would dry out the skin?
Myth “Glycerine dries out the skin” – what is it?
For years, glycerine has a reputation for drying out the skin. Is that true? Yes and no. As with so many ingredients, it’s all about the right concentration and combination.
To help you understand this, let me briefly explain the function of glycerin: glycerine attracts water like a magnet. This effect is desirable because it makes this ingredient the best moisturizer ever. Where does the rumor come from, that glycerin should be dehydrating?
As I said, glycerine attracts water. It is the glycerine but no matter where the water comes from, the main thing it is readily available. It can come from three sources:
Water from the ambient air (at high humidity)
Water from other ingredients in the product
Water stored in the skin
Maybe you already suspect, from which source the glycerine should not use? Exactly, from Source 3: Water from your skin! As soon as glycerin does not get enough water from other sources, it draws water from the deeper skin layers up to the skin surface. The drying effect arises. Two factors prevent this from happening: the right formulation and the right concentration.
The right formulation of products with glycerin
While glycerin may not care where it’s coming from, it does not care about your skin. Importantly, glycerine is always accompanied by other moisturizing ingredients. Then it does not bind water out of your skin, but makes use of the water at the product. In this combination, glycerin moistens your skin deeply and for a long time.
By the way, in the context of glycerin, a very high level of air humidity is very good, ie holidays in a humid-warm climate or a good humidifier at home. In winter, on the other hand, you should pay extra attention to a good moisturizer!
Are you worried that your glycerin product is drying your skin? No. Today, cosmetics are formulated with this knowledge. No reason to panic, because in high-quality moisturizers and serums glycerin is so dosed and combined that it shows its best side.
The right concentration of glycerin in the care product
The more glycerin in the product, the higher the water requirement. From too high a concentration, this can no longer be compensated in the recipe. Therefore, the dosage of glycerol plays an important role.
The dehydrating effect occurs when more than 10% of a product is glycerine. If you have already learned a bit about online, you may have noticed that some sources only talk about a dehydrating effect at 30%. Why is that? Well, the effect does not change suddenly.
Concentrations of up to 10% are safe for skin care. In addition, the effect reverses gradually into the opposite until it is then from 30% really critical. In the case of skin care products, the percentage of glycerol is usually 3-5%, which is clearly in the “safe” range.
What is Glycerin made of?
Unlike coconut oil or shea butter, the name is not exactly meaningful. Do you think spontaneously of “nitroglycerin”? Sounds explosive, but not necessarily nature … And for conventional cosmetics, glycerol is actually often synthesized from petroleum.
But glycerol can also be obtained from natural sources. It results from the splitting of fats, synthetic as well as natural. And with the latter, there are animal sources as well as the extraction of vegetable oils. And that’s why the glycerine that is used in natural cosmetics usually comes from.
Organic glycerine from coconut oil
Ideally, your skin care contains organic-grade glycerine from plants that are grown in an environmentally-friendly way, without pesticides. Unfortunately, the most popular source of vegetable glycerin is palm oil. However, the list of ingredients (INCI) gives you no information.
In our FIVE facial serum, natural glycerin pampers your skin with extra moisture. It is obtained by saponification from coconut oil and is – like all our products – 100% vegan. So you do not unnecessarily burden your skin with pesticide residues, our serum comes only organic glycerin from organic coconuts.
For which skin types is glycerine suitable?
Glycerin is a natural part of the body. During metabolism, fats are constantly processed, with glycerol as a by-product. This is then transported to the skin, where it supports the barrier function. Because naturally and in any case glycerin is very well tolerated. It is allergen-free and is also suitable for sensitive skin.
So there is no skin type that should be better off with glycerine. The greatest benefit, however, has dehydrated skin. Glycerine helps to store water in the deeper layers of the skin and thus creates an additional moisture depot.
Although dry skin may be conditioned, even normal skin tends to dry out more with increasing maturity. So a good moisturizer will become more and more important over time!
Conclusion: Glycerin provides the skin with moisture
In the right dosage, glycerin provides your skin with plenty of moisture. And that is a must. At least 20% water needs the skin to make you look really fresh and radiant.
And the beauty of glycerin: It moisturizes the skin down to the deeper layers. This improves the elasticity and tightens. In addition, this lower-lying water deposit during facial cleansing can not be washed away so easily.
Since glycerine binds water from the environment, two factors in the formulation development of cosmetic products are crucial:
The product must be rich in moisture.
Glycerin may contain it only in small quantities.
By the way: The moisture serum of FIVE consists of 4% glycerine and brings plenty of moisture thanks to biological rose blossom hydrolate.