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Featured opinion



Mar 31, 2022

One of the best-known humectants. It helps to hydrate skin very fast, but the effect doesn't last too long. That's why some people may feel dryness after 3 - 4 hours and have to re-apply skincare products once again. Works even in low concentrations but becomes very effective at 10 - 40% concentration. It's used in cosmetics for more than 50 years and it is researched very well. A great component to counter dryness!


Glycerin is a very popular skincare component. It’s used in moisturizers, toners, creams, cleansers and other beauty products. It’s so popular because it’s one of the best moisturizing ingredients ever known. Why it is one of the best? Because it has hygroscopic nature due to its chemical structure and it can take up water. It’s a very important part of many beauty products. It also plays a very important role in human’s body, participating in water regulation.

How it affects the skin?

Glycerin works similarly to Hyaluronic acid. Both ingredients are hygroscopic and absorb water from surrounding air. If you are a big fan of Hyaluronic acid you will also find Glycerin very beneficial. It hydrates top skin layers and forms a film that attracts water to the skin.

It’s reported that 1 molecule of glycerin can attract 10 molecules of water! When you apply it to your skin it hydrates top layers of the epidermis. It helps to deliver water to deeper layers as well. Double profit, deep hydration!

As you see this thing is a Holy Grail for any lady with dry or combination skin. The good thing is that it fits all skin types and you can use it for oily skin too. It will not affect it badly.


Depending on the origin, glycerin can be vegetable, animal or chemical.

  • Vegetable – is manufactured from coconut and palm oil.
  • Animal - is secreted from pig fat.
  • Chemical - synthesized from propylene.

Nowadays, animal glycerin isn’t used in cosmetics too often. It’s usually replaced with vegetable because it’s more eco-friendly and more popular. People tend to buy products with vegetable glycerin and manufacturers know about this. If you are a fan of eco-friendly cosmetics you should pay attention to the origin of this ingredient.

As for the quality, it depends not on the source but on the manufacturing technology. There are two ways of manufacturing: with chlorine and without chlorine. They say that glycerin manufactured without chlorine is much better and cleaner; it works better in dry air and doesn’t irritate the skin. Yes, it may lead to irritation if it was manufactured using chlorine. Keep this in mind.

How to Use: Tips

Most people think that using cosmetics with this ingredient is very easy, but there are some details you need to know. This component is a strong moisturizer, but don’t forget that it takes water from the surrounding air. It’s recommended to use it if the air humidity is over 45%.

If the air is dry, concentrated glycerin can withdraw water from your skin instead of hydrating it! You may feel tightness instead of hydration. That’s why it’s better to apply oily cream or emulsion above it.  Manufacturers know about this and they usually add oily ingredients to the products with glycerin. But anyway, beware!


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Information on Cosmily is not medical advice and is provided for informational purposes. Product analysis is based on public information about formulation and chemical makeup. Please discuss medical concerns with a doctor.

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