Glycerin in cosmetics – is it worth it to be afraid?

Glycerin in cosmetics is used as a moisturizer, which is good
copes with dryness of the skin. At the same time he is
the most ambiguous component in a cosmetic composition,
because on the Internet there is always a rush
Around him. This “scary” and “horrible” component embodies
almost all the evil of the world. Let’s look at how reasonable
these fears? Is it really worth being afraid of him?


  • Glycerin – who is he and where is he from
  • How does glycerin work in a cream?
  • Passion around glycerin
  • Glycerin and humidity
  • What conclusions can be drawn

Glycerin – who is he and where is he from

Glycerin is a clear, colorless liquid, having
thick viscous form. It is an alcohol in which
includes three atoms.

Like water, it is the most common cosmetic component.
means. Perfectly safe because it has been used for a long time.
cosmetics and never shows side effects.

On the Internet, it is usually divided into:

  • glycerol – a synthetic analogue that endows terribly
    “harmful” qualities;
  • glycerin is a beneficial plant substance.

In fact, there is a lot of confusion. The fact is that it
a misunderstanding born out of ignorance of English terminology. This is one and
the same component, simply in English called glycerol
the chemical itself and glycerin the substance used in
cosmetics. It is the same substance, only its
water solution. So, in Russian, the correct name is
glycerol, and glycerol – translation error from English.

How does glycerin work in a cream?

Very often it is endowed with the qualities of hyaluronic acid,
since it is also able to attract water molecules to itself and
retain moisture in the skin. It is a kind of sponge,
which absorbs a large amount of moisture and does not give it out.
It is also capable of pulling moisture out of thin air when it comes to
low humidity environment. This component is not in vain added to
moisturizing compositions, because it prevents the loss of moisture,
most preventing dehydration and dry skin. It works well
as an independent means, and in composition with another
moisturizers. If you mix a drop of this alcohol with any moisturizer
cream, it is able to soften and moisturize the roughest areas
body: corns on the hands, elbows and heels.

In part, its effect in the cream is due to its beneficial effects.

  • able to absorb and retain moisture;
  • promotes the regeneration of the skin;
  • improves the barrier – protective layer of the epidermis;
  • in some cases reduces the synthesis of melanin, but it is not worth
    to be mistaken, it does not whiten the skin, but it prevents the increased
    melanin synthesis;
  • recent scientific studies have proven that he is capable of playing
    a certain role in the process of maturation of corneocytes – scales,
    which form the outer stratum corneum of the epidermis.

In other words, glycerin is an indispensable component of cosmetic
means. It is also added to hand creams and to care products.

Passion around glycerin

So, glycerin is a completely safe substance, because
naturally occurring in fats and oils, also
is found in the fermentation products of bread, wine and beer. Besides,
involved in human and animal metabolism.

Previously, it was produced by industrial method from propylene, but in
At present, there are technologies of oleochemistry (ecologically
pure chemistry), allowing to produce pharmacopoeial glycerin (one
that is used in cosmetology). Large quantities are formed in
the result of hydrolysis or randomization of vegetable oils
(palm and coconut). All these chemical reactions are
source of formation of this substance.

Thus, the oleochemical glycerol, which is called
vegetable, no different from the chemical counterpart.
The origin of a substance does not determine its usefulness or harmfulness.
Its molecules, regardless of the method of preparation, are perfectly
indistinguishable from each other. Therefore, advertiser assurances that they
use “natural” glycerin, having vegetable
origin when as competitors use cheap
synthetic analogue, nothing more than a marketing move and lobbying
their products. All used in cosmetics glycerin has
vegetable origin and cheap enough.

More expensive may be an option grown for certain
environmental standards, which resulted in the use of special
agrotechnical technologies.

It is also incorrect to say that this substance should be in
proper concentration and proportion with other natural
cream ingredients. It doesn’t matter how natural everyone is
the remaining components, because the cream without glycerin can not be found
at all. That product, which is presented as “natural” in
organic cosmetics to make fabulous profits
absolutely identical to what is contained in an ordinary tool
mass market. This is another marketing hype.

Glycerin and humidity

It was once believed that relative humidity is
the main factor affecting the humidity that holds the top
epidermis layer.

So, it was assumed that the low humidity of the air makes the upper
the epidermis layer (horny layer) is dehydrated, dry and irritated.
At the present time, it has become known that dry air dries
only the first layers of the cells of the stratum corneum, and the remaining layers, which
much more remain hydrated.

It is also believed that glycerol at higher humidity
70% pulls moisture from the air, and at lower humidity
It draws in from the lower layers of the epidermis, which are rich in moisture.
However, this does not mean that it dries the skin or
dehydrates her. Rather, it directs water from the deeper layers of the skin.
to the upper layer of the epidermis. But this process is
physiological norm, it is subject to modification and constantly
adapts to environmental conditions. In the deep layers of the skin
moisture is constantly stored as a result of its blood supply, and
in order for the skin to completely lose moisture, it must happen
severe dehydration.

In addition, high-quality hydration of the stratum corneum contributes to
normal condition of the epidermis, its elasticity, elasticity and
elasticity. And the increase in moisture inflow to the top layer of skin under
the action of glycerin is much more effective than its attraction from
of air. In this case, not only moisturizing of the skin occurs, but also
restoration of its barrier function.

Sometimes the increased hygroscopicity of glycerin can play evil
joke, in this case, the cosmetic compositions can make the skin
sticky and unpleasant to the touch. This happens when it is introduced into
cosmetic product as an independent substance. BUT
here if used in conjunction with other ingredients, you can
create a quality moisturizer in which the alcohol itself
increases the water content in the stratum corneum, while others are occlusive
the components (forming the film on the skin surface) supply it
protective film that prevents evaporation of moisture from the surface
epidermis and promotes the restoration of the natural barrier

Giluronic acid is also a powerful moisturizer, but
she has a great reputation. If you compare this alcohol with
hyaluronic acid, the methods of water conservation of these substances
almost the same. High Molecular Hyaluronic Acid
remains on the surface of the skin and creates a film on it, which
retains moisture. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates
deep in the dermis and retains moisture there. Our substance remains in
Horny layer of the epidermis and retains moisture in it. But still
no one laments that low molecular weight
hyaluronic acid at low environmental humidity takes
moisture is not from the air, but from extracellular fluid. But it is
this way it moisturizes the upper layers of the skin.

What conclusions can be drawn

It should be noted that any substance that is part of
cosmetic compositions, can cause a negative skin reaction
cover. So, this substance can cause chemical reactions in
combined with 70% ethyl alcohol. There are cases when
irritation and allergic reaction as a result of application to the skin
hands of this percentage of ethanol together with glycerin. Also
there were cases when symptoms of allergy were observed after application
glycerin patch –masks on face and slight irritation after
use hand cream.

However, all the above cases do not speak of his total
harm, but simply about individual intolerance to the substance. but
it cannot harm a person who does not respond to such reactions.
inclined. Also, do not trust any unverified rumors in
on the Internet, because in this case you are depriving your skin of beauty
moisturizing component. Harmfulness or usefulness of a substance should
to be determined not by rumors, but by the conclusions of specialists. All rumors about
“harmful” glycerol is distributed with the purpose of lobbying
products without it, but not the fact that the same safe and

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