Glycerin is a powerful humectant and skin repairing ingredient that helps to support the skin’s barrier function and replenish a parched complexion. It’s a colourless and viscous liquid that’s commonly found in moisturisers along with emollients and oils – it’s likely already a component of some of your favourite formulations.
Glycerin works by drawing moisture from the atmosphere and trapping it into the skin. Its low molecular weight means that glycerin is very effective at drawing moisture deep into the dermis, making for long-lasting hydration.
Glycerin also imitates the skin’s natural moisturising factor (NMF), the body’s in-built response for keeping skin soft and supple. Not only does this natural process slow down as we age, but its loss is accelerated by exposure to environmental stressors including UV light and pollution, leading to dehydration, uneven skin tone, and prominent signs of ageing. So it’s vital that we replenish the skin through nourishing ingredients such as glycerin that work synergistically with the skin.
While typically found in a lot of moisturisers, glycerin is also common in cleansers, serums, masks and more. Its significant moisturising properties make it a great ingredient for those with an extremely dry complexion or skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis. Glycerin is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores) and suitable for most skin types.