The benefits of glycerine in skincare

The Benefits of Glycerine in Skincare

What is glycerine?

Glycerine is a real unsung hero in the beauty industry. It is an essential ingredient that offers skin benefits when used in a variety of products: from your cleanser, toner or serum to your moisturiser. Glycerine skincare is effective because the ingredient itself is a natural component of healthy skin.

Also known as 'glycerol', this widely used skincare ingredient can be derived from vegetable or animal sources. It can also be synthetically created. In any of these forms, glycerine is hygroscopic (or humectant). This means that glycerine can draw moisture from the air and use this moisture to hydrate your skin. So why would you use glycerine for the skin? Because it helps to maintain optimum moisture levels. Other well known hygroscopic ingredients include hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate.

The Benefits of Glycerine in Skincare

Glycerine: skin benefits

So what is glycerine used for? & What are the benefits of using glycerine on the face and in bodycare?

  • Helps shield the skin from environmental irritants
  • Works with emollients & oils to soften dry skin
  • Helps fortify & strengthen the skin's moisture barrier
  • Enhances the ability of other ingredients to access the skin's top layers
  • Helps improve skin resiliency for a more youthful appearance

What else does glycerine do for the skin? Glycerine is also involved in the transportation and activity of aquaporins within the skin’s surface. Aquaporins are proteins that channel the flow of vital hydrating substances (including water & glycerol) to your skin’s top layers. They play a key role in maintaining the moisture balance and helping your skin feel smooth and comfortable, even in drier climates.

If you want to make the most of these glycerine skin benefits, you can opt for the CLINICAL 20% Niacinamide Treatment for next level pore-minimising. This treatment works well in any anti-ageing skincare routine and it utilises glycerine as a humectant for key skin replenishing.

Is glycerine good for the skin?

Glycerine works well for all skin types. Research shows that glycerine mimics the skin's Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF). As your skin ages and becomes more subjected to environmental stressors over time, the NMF is gradually depleted. It doesn't matter whether your skin is dry, oily or breakout-prone – replenishing the skin with glycerine reinforces the resilience of the moisture barrier. Particularly for acne, there are many glycerine benefits.

Is glycerine ok for the skin if it is sensitive?

Glycerine is considered a non-allergenic, fragrance-free ingredient. It has a long history of safe use for the skin.

Dermatologist Dr Corey L. Hartman talks glycerine skin benefits and its use for sensitive skin:
"Glycerine is great because it appeals to a wide variety of skin types and works well with most skin regimens. It provides light moisturisation that soothes sensitive skin, relieves dryness and doesn’t clog pores."

In 2019, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel evaluated relevant data and concluded:
“[Glycerine] is safe as a cosmetic ingredient in the practices of use and concentration” as described in the panel’s safety assessment. The report looked at maximum use concentrations of up to 79.2% of glycerine in leave-on products and 99.4% in rinse-off products. The research shows glycerine is an excellent choice for even the most sensitive of skin types.

If you have sensitive skin and want to use glycerine, Paula's Choice can fit this essential ingredient into your routine. A great option is the CALM Ultra-Gentle Cleanser. This soft, cushiony cleanser removes makeup & impurities whilst preserving the skin’s barrier. With glycerine as a key ingredient, this product alleviates both sensitivity and redness in one cleanser.

References for this information:

1. Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation, March 2021, pages 223-231
2. American Journal of Physiology, May 2020, pages 1144-1153
3. Dermatologic Therapy, November-December 2020, page e14287
4. International Journal of Toxicology, December 2019, pages 6S-22S
5. Clinics in Dermatology, July-August 2019
6. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2016, ePublication
7. Journal of Allergy and Therapy, 2013, pages 1-6
8. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, December 2013, pages 638-645
9. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, 2009, pages 205-217
10. British Journal of Dermatology, July 2008, pages 23-34
11. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2007, pages 75-82


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