Glycerin for Skin: Benefits, Side Effects and How To Use it in Your Skin Care Routine

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Are you tired of using skincare products that promise the world but deliver nothing? Are you looking for a new ingredient to add to your skin care routine? Look no further than glycerin.

This humble humectant has been used for centuries in skincare products and for good reason. Not only does it have the ability to deeply moisturize the skin, but it also has anti-aging and potential acne-fighting properties.

But before you start slathering glycerin all over your face, it’s important to understand the potential side effects and how to use it properly in your skincare routine. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the need-to-know information in this article.

So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you on your journey to achieving the perfect, glowing skin you’ve always wanted.

Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a clear, colorless and odorless liquid that is derived from natural sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. It is a type of sugar alcohol that has been used for centuries in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and personal care.

Chemically speaking, glycerin is a trihydroxy alcohol and is composed of three hydroxyl groups (-OH) that are attached to a carbon atom. This chemical structure allows it to easily attract and retain moisture, making it a highly effective humectant.

Why Is Glycerin Used in Skin Care Products?

Glycerin is a humectant that is used in a wide variety of skincare products, such as moisturizers, serums, and cleansers because of its moisturizing properties.

According to a study, It is more effective than other popular humectants such as alpha hydroxy acid, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, sorbitol, and urea.

It’s like the “Jack of all trades” of the skincare world. It’s a versatile ingredient that can benefit all skin types.

It can also improve the skin’s barrier function and have anti-aging, and acne-fighting properties. All these qualities of glycerin make it a popular and used ingredient in the skincare industry.

So, next time you’re browsing through skin care products, keep an eye out for glycerin, it’s an ingredient that you’ll definitely want to add to your skincare routine. It’s like having a personal skincare genie in a bottle, but without the annoying rhyming.

Benefites Of Glycerin For Skin

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, glycerin can treat a variety of skin problems, including:

  1. Hydrate the outer layer of the skin: As a humectant, glycerin helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and smooth. This can help to improve the overall appearance of the skin and make it look more youthful.
  2. Improve skin barrier function: Glycerin can help to strengthen the skin barrier, which is the outermost layer of the skin that helps to protect it from environmental damage and irritants. This can help to improve the skin’s resistance to environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV rays.
  3. Protect the skin against irritants: Glycerin can also act as a barrier against irritants, helping to protect the skin from the damaging effects of harsh soaps, detergents, and other skin care products.
  4. Accelerate wound-healing: Glycerin has been shown to have wound-healing properties, which means it can help to speed up the healing process of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  5. Help with psoriasis: Some studies suggest that glycerin may be helpful in treating psoriasis by reducing inflammation, improving skin hydration and promoting healing.

It is important to note that while glycerin can be beneficial for the skin, it is always recommended to test the product first on a small area of the skin to make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions, and always check the ingredients list and consult with a dermatologist if you have any concerns.

What Skin Types Should Use Glycerin?

Glycerin benefits the skin differently depending on the skin type. The following discussion explains how glycerin works on different skin types.

For dry skin, glycerin is a great option as it helps to deeply hydrate and improve the skin’s barrier function, locking in moisture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Oily skin can also benefit from glycerin’s ability to regulate the production of sebum, preventing clogged pores and breakouts.

Combination skin can be tricky, but glycerin can help to balance the skin’s moisture levels, hydrating dry areas while regulating oil production in oily areas.

For sensitive skin, glycerin can help to soothe and calm irritated skin while deeply hydrating it.

However, like other skin care ingredients, glycerine can have some side effects if not used properly. So the question now is, what is the right way to use glycerine for skin? Let’s take a look.

Related: Step By Step Guide For A Complete Skin Care Routine For Dry And Acne-Prone Skin.

How To Use Glycerin For Face?

Using glycerin on your skin is an easy and straightforward process that you can incorporate into your everyday skincare routine. However, it’s important to remember to dilute pure glycerin before using it directly on your face.

The recommended dilution ratio is 1 part glycerin to 3 parts water, but you can adjust this based on your skin type and preferences.

It’s also important to use glycerin in the right concentration for your skin type.

Step 1: Cleanse your face – Start by washing your face with a mild cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and other impurities.

Step 2: Apply a small amount of glycerin to your face, focusing on dry areas. You can use glycerin alone or mix it with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. You can also mix it with other ingredients like aloe vera or honey to create your own DIY skincare recipe.

Step 3: Allow the glycerin to absorb into your skin for a few minutes. You can then wash it off or leave it on overnight for extra hydration.

Step 4: After washing your face, it’s essential to moisturize your skin to lock in the hydration. You can use a glycerin-based moisturizer or make your own by mixing glycerin with other ingredients like almond oil and essential oils.

By following these simple steps and adjusting the concentration of glycerin based on your skin type, you can enjoy the many benefits.

So, don’t be afraid to add a little glycerin to your life, it’ll give your skin the “glow” it deserves.

The Right Concentration Of Glycerine For The Skin

When choosing the right concentration of glycerin for your skin, it’s important to consider your skin type and any specific skin concerns.

For dry skin: A higher concentration of glycerin, between 20-30%, can be beneficial for dry skin as it can provide deeper hydration and improve the skin’s barrier function.

For oily skin: A lower concentration of glycerin, around 5-10%, can be ideal for oily skin as it can help to regulate sebum production without leaving the skin feeling greasy.

For sensitive skin: It is important to use a low concentration of glycerin, around 1-5%, for sensitive skin as higher concentrations can cause irritation.

For combination skin: A concentration of glycerin around 10-15% can be suitable for combination skin as it can help to balance the skin’s moisture levels.

It is always best to do a patch test before using any new product. If you are unsure about what concentration would be best for your skin, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or skin expert.

It’s worth noting that the concentration of glycerin in a product varies depending on the other ingredients that are included in the formula, so always check the label or ask the manufacturer for more information.

Potential Side Effects

Glycerin is generally considered safe for use on the skin and is well-tolerated by most people. However, as with any skincare product, it is possible to experience side effects when using glycerin.

Some of the most common side effects of using glycerin on the skin include:

  1. Dryness: Using too much glycerin or using it too frequently can lead to dryness and irritation, as it can pull moisture out of the skin.
  2. Breakouts: In rare cases, using glycerin can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
  3. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to glycerin and may experience redness, itching, or a rash after using it.
  4. Interaction with other products: Glycerin can interact with other skincare products, such as exfoliants, which can lead to irritation or dryness.


In conclusion, glycerin is a versatile and effective ingredient that can offer many benefits for the skin. As a humectant, it helps to keep the skin hydrated and can improve the skin’s barrier function. It can also have anti-aging and acne-fighting properties.

When incorporating glycerin into your skincare routine, it’s important to use it in moderation and at the right time of day. A small amount can be applied as a standalone product or added to your moisturizer or serum. It’s also crucial to patch test before using it all over your face, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Overall, glycerin can be a great addition to your skincare routine for those looking to add hydration and improve the overall health of their skin. It’s always recommended to patch test before using it all over your face, and for best results, using it in moderate amounts.

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar is a passionate automobile engineer and part-time content writer. With his deep interest in skincare and hair care, he brings a unique perspective to the world of beauty. Abhijit's expertise lies in dissecting the science behind various hair and skin problems, providing effective solutions, and sharing practical tips for a healthy and radiant appearance. As a meticulous researcher, he delves into the intricacies of beneficial and harmful ingredients, empowering readers to make informed choices. Through his engaging articles, Abhijit aims to simplify the complexities of hair and skincare, helping readers unlock their true beauty potential.

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