Glycerine, also known as glycerol; is a sweet, clear and sticky liquid. It was discovered in 1823 when people realized that Chevreul was contained in the oil and fat. It was named by the Greeks, glycerine, as it was sweet.
Glycerine is commonly used in the food processing industry; mainly in sports foods and formulas. Since it is able to increase the liquid content in human tissue, it causes a rise in human athletic ability under high-heat environments.
This sweet liquid is an important skin care component as it contains polyol – a small molecule moisturizing agent. The moisturizing effect of glycerine is remarkable, as the moisture is retained in stratum corneum aka outermost layer of the epidermis.
Just how good is glycerine?
1g of glycerine can absorb 0.6 grams of water. Glycerine performance is enhanced in high humidity environment, in other words; it is great for us in this tropical country. It acts as a skin barrier by locking moisture within the skin and preventing dry skin by absorbing moisture from the air.
Glycerol can be obtained from the hydrolysis of fats and fermentation of sugars, as well as by chemical synthesis. Plant glycerine is transparent and looks like water, but the texture is viscous. Since glycerine is inherent in the skin, we should avoid direct skin contact with 100% pure glycerine.
Enzymes in the body help to dissolve the excessive fats and when enzyme meet fats, glycerine is created. Therefore, our body does produce glycerine and it is not necessary for us to use too much on our skin.
The optimal ratio of glycerine used in skincare is 10%, and 20% in solvent.
How do we use Glycerine?
• Glycerine can be used in body lotion to moisturize the skin.
• It cannot be used in a toner
• It is great as a hand cream as it acts as a barrier to block dust and dirt
• Glycerine works like cleansing oil when it comes to removing makeup, it emulsifies the oil and dirt effectively
Why do we need to include Glycerine in skincare?
In comparison to big names such as Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen, glycerine or glycerol (this is the term you usually see on the label) seems to fade into the background. Then why do they bother to add glycerine in the first place?
According to studies, skincare product works at its best by integrating a combination of glycerine, antioxidants, fatty acids and essential oils. Therefore, glycerine is one of the ingredients not to be missed. The right combination helps to heal the skin, restore it into its normal function and protect it from any future damage.