Glycerin is a versatile ingredient used in the food as well as cosmetic industry. Most of us have come across soaps, beauty products and acne products containing glycerin. What makes glycerin a versatile product? What are its skin healthy properties? Can it heal acne and other skin diseases? Let’s find out!
Delving into the chemistry of glycerin, we find that it is a humectant, i.e. a substance that allows water retention. Being hygroscopic, it can absorb moisture from the air. So, what do we infer? Glycerin can be an excellent moisturizer for your skin! No wonder, it is used as a softening agent in soaps, lotions, body scrubs, creams, etc. Also known as glycerol, glycerin is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless compound, which is unlikely to cause allergies or irritation. A note of caution here is that you must not apply concentrated glycerin on your skin as it can draw water from your skin and cause blisters. In its diluted form, glycerin is safe and is used even in skin products meant for infants or children.
Dry skin can cause itching and flaking, allowing buildup of dead skin cells, thereby clogging your skin pores and aggravating your acne problem. Glycerin’s moisturizing property allows the pores to breathe, locking in natural moisture and preventing clogging. Hence, it addresses one of the major causes of acne, i.e. clogged pores. It works from the outside by filling tiny cracks and voids on the skin surface to render a healthier and smoother look. Among other properties, glycerin can fight fungal infections, bacterial infections and skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Glycerin is inexpensive as well.
In what form is glycerin most effective? You can apply glycerin directly on your skin or add it to a moisturizer or make your own face pack with it. Here’s a simple formula: mix glycerin with fuller’s earth to form a smooth paste and apply it on your face. After it dries, simply wash it off with cool water. Alternatively, you can make a face peel by mixing the white of one egg with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of glycerin. Make sure that you whisk the ingredients – first whisk the egg white separately, then add honey and glycerin. Honey is not only healthy for the skin but also sticky enough to maintain the face mask and peel off the dead skin layer. Apply the mixture on your face and allow it to dry until you sense the tightening effect. Peel the mask off and rinse with cool water. Another option is to mix equal quantities of vegetable glycerin, coconut oil and sweet almond oil and use the mixture to massage your skin. Adding a few drops of essential oil can impart a pleasant fragrance to the massage mixture.
Using glycerin containing products is the easiest way to include glycerin in your daily skin and hair care regimen. However, for specific conditions like acne, adequate use of glycerin can set off a natural remedy and provide a protective barrier for the outermost layer of your skin.