|Best used: AM, PM more frequently if required||Caution: Well tolerated||Best for: Dry skin, eczema, seasonal skin|
|Comments: One of the most common ingredients in moisturisers||Mode of action: Humectant, hydrator||Science Score:|
What is the science behind glycerine?
Glycerine is a naturally occurring compound that is a humectant. This means it can draw moisture from the air into the deeper layers of the skin. Due to its low molecular weight, it can penetrate into the lower depths of the epidermis- hence its primary role as a moisturizer.
What skin conditions can be treated with glycerin?
As a humectant, glycerin’s number one role is skin hydration. People with dry skin, atopic dermatitis, & seasonal skin will benefit from this compound. It can be used on the face or body. Formulations for dry & cracked skin will contain glycerin.
What are humectants?
Humectants draw water into the skin. These compounds include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lecithin & propylene glycol.
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What are common skin care brands that contain glycerine?
Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, Cetaphil & Neutrogena are amongst the hundreds of skin care products that contain glycerin. Most companies will have a skin care line focused on dry, cracked skin or for the treatment of atopic dermatitis – eczema.
Historically glycerin is the basic molecule of most essential oils found within the skin. This is why you see it in the majority of skin care products including cleansers, moisturisers & serums.
What are the side effects of glycerin?
Side effects are extremely uncommon. Allergic contact dermatitis has been reported but this is very rare. Patch testing by a medical dermatologist can be useful in some cases.
Does glycerin clog your pores?
In laboratory conditions glycerin itself has a non-comedogenic rating- meaning in theory it won’t clog your pores. Note however that it CAN clog your pores as glycerin is added to many occlusive moisturisers. Bottom line- pay attention to what your skin is telling you, just because a product is labelled as non-comedogenic does not mean it automatically does not give rise to zits.
Is hyaluronic acid better than glycerin?
Hyaluronic acid can (ideally) be injected into the deeper layers of the skin to provide volume, glycerine cannot. Both chemicals act as humectants when applied to the skin, however glycerine is significantly more cost effective.
What products are compatible with glycerin?
Majority of products can be used with glycerin as this is inert. Mixing activities including retinol, niacinamide, skin care acids etc.. with glycerin-based products can reduce skin irritation. Not recommended to mix ascorbic acid with glycerin formulations as the latter has a higher pH level. This can reduce bioavailability of vitamin C.
How do I incorporate glycerin in my skin care routine?
A sensible skin care routine that involves glycerin goes something like this;
PM: Cleanser, Glycerin & Vitamin E, Option to layer niacinamide, retinol, AHAs & or pigment correctors.
*Glycerin is typically found in concentrations of 10% or less, often combined with Tocopherol (Vitamin E), occasionally with Hyaluronic acid. Glycerin can be use on the face or on the body as a lotion or cream. Consider this ingredient if you have atopic dermatitis.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Glycerin
One of the most common humectants found in many topicals from basic skin care brands including Neutrogena, Cetaphil, & The Ordinary.
Glycerin is most useful as a banal moisturiser, most often in concentrations ranging from 5 to 10. It is a powerful humectant with a very low irritant or allergic potential. Glycerin forms the cornerstone of atopic dermatitis management.
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