Glycerin is an organic compound composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. This thick, colorless and odorless liquid is used extensively in the beauty industry for making soaps, antiaging gels and moisturizers.
It has therapeutic as well as humectant and emollient properties that make glycerin effective in treating a variety of skin conditions.
Apart from the beauty industry, glycerin is used in drugs and pharmaceuticals, food sweetening and in the paper and printing industry.
When it comes to shopping for glycerin, you need to be very careful. In the market, you can find both natural glycerin derived from plant-based oils and glycerin derived from synthetic sources, such as petroleum-based oils. While the natural glycerin is good and toxin-free, the synthetic varieties can harm your body.
Now that you know which glycerin is good for your body, read on to learn about the many ways you can use it.
Here are 10 uses of glycerin that you must know.
1. Keeps Skin Moisturized
Glycerin is considered a great moisturizer for skin.
First of all, it is a great humectant, which means it attracts water or moisture from outside the skin and draws it in. Also, being an emollient, it helps hold all that moisture in by forming a protective layer over the skin. This in turn keeps it feeling soft, smooth and well-hydrated.
A 2002 study published in Acta Dermaco Venereologica found that a cream containing glycerin seemed to be a suitable alternative to a cream containing urea and sodium chloride in the treatment of atopic dry skin.
- Liberally apply glycerin on your skin, especially areas that are dry.
- Leave it on for a few hours.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
2. Tones Your Skin
Glycerin is a good toner, especially for dry skin. It helps provide ample moisture to the skin.
It also helps restore the skin’s pH level and reduces blemishes or scaring, thus making your skin soft and glowing.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of glycerin and 2 tablespoons of rose water.
- Mix thoroughly and transfer the contents to a spray bottle.
- Spray the toner on your clean face, before applying a moisturizer.
- Repeat daily, or as needed.
You can keep this homemade toner in the refrigerator for about a week.
3. Keeps Feet Crack-Free
To reclaim baby-soft feet and keep them from drying out and cracking, glycerin is immensely effective. This natural humectant helps lock in moisture and retain it for a long time.
A proper moisturizer is the key element to prevent or heal cracks feet.
- Soak your feet in lukewarm water mixed with soap for 5 minutes.
- Scrub your feet using a loofah to get rid of the dead skin, then pat dry.
- Apply glycerin on the heels and massage gently for a few minutes.
- Put on a pair of clean socks and leave it on overnight.
- Rinse your feet the next morning.
- Repeat this every day for effective results.
4. Makes Lips Soft and Supple
Whether you have chapped or dry lips, glycerin is the secret ingredient to enjoy soft and supple lips.
Plus, it can help get rid of dead skin, so that you can enjoy healthy, pink lips.
- Mix glycerin and rose water in equal amounts. Apply this mixture to your lips, a few times a day to keep them moisturized.
- Alternatively, mix lemon juice, honey and glycerin in equal amounts. Apply the mixture on your lips before going to bed each night to maintain soft and pink lips.
5. Cures Mouth Ulcers
Whether you suffer from mouth ulcers or painful mucoceles, glycerin can help treat the problem quickly.
Its antiseptic and healing properties help fight the microbes causing the problem in your mouth that make it difficult for you to eat and drink. Plus, it keeps the affected area well-moistened, thus providing relief from the discomforts.
- Dab a little vegetable glycerin on the affected area.
- Allow it to sit for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Rinse your mouth with cool water.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until your mouth heals completely.
6. Improves Psoriasis & Eczema
Those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema can use glycerin to get rid of these irritating and uncomfortable skin problems.
Glycerin helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function, which helps prevent moisture loss. It also helps keep toxins and irritants from getting into the skin, which in turn prevents and alleviates inflammatory problems like psoriasis and eczema.
- Dilute glycerin with water in the ratio 1:1. Apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball. After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse if off with lukewarm water. Repeat 2 times a day until the skin is healed completely.
- For scalp psoriasis, apply a mixture of equal parts of glycerin and aloe vera gel on the scalp 30 minutes before showering. Do it 2 or 3 times a week until the condition improves.
7. Prevents Skin Aging
Due to its humectants and moisturizing properties, glycerin is excellent for preventing wrinkles and maintaining smooth, younger-looking skin.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of glycerin and vitamin E oil.
- Gently massage your face and neck with this mixture.
- Rinse it off after 15 minutes.
- Do this once daily, preferably before going to bed.
8. Brightens Your Nails
If you frequently apply nail polish, you may notice that your unpainted nails start looking dry and dull.
Because of its ability to provide lubrication and retain moisture, you can use glycerin to brighten your nails.
Also, it will strengthen your nails. In fact, glycerin is one of the main ingredients used in commercial nail hardeners.
- Mix 2 tablespoons each of rose water and 3% hydrogen peroxide in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of glycerin and mix thoroughly.
- Rub it on your nails using a cotton ball drenched with this mixture.
- Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off using lukewarm water.
- Do it 2 or 3 times a week.
9. Use in a Homemade Makeup Setting Spray
The makeup setting sprays you buy from the market are often loaded with chemicals that can cause more harm than good to your skin.
You can use glycerin to make a homemade spray to keep your makeup in place and prevent cracks from forming.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of rose water, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 2 drops of glycerin.
- Optionally, add the contents of 1 vitamin E capsule to the mixture.
- Mix thoroughly, then pour the contents into a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on your face, wait for some time and then apply your makeup.
10. Prevents Dry and Frizzy Hair
Dry hair can lead to damage, breakage and even hair loss, but you can prevent these problems. Just like your skin, hair needs moisture and glycerin works great for your hair, too!
- Simply apply some glycerin on your damp hair and massage it for a few minutes. Then, wash your hair as usual. Do it 2 or 3 times a week to keep your hair shiny and smooth.
- Also, you can put a little glycerin in a spray bottle with water and use it while styling your hair to keep it hydrated, smooth and manageable all day long.
- If you have sensitive skin, dilute the glycerin with water or rose water before applying it on your face.
- Do not put too much glycerin on your skin at a time as it may become sticky and greasy.
- Do not use glycerin with sticky lotions, since glycerin is already sticky.
- Make sure to wash excess glycerin from your skin before going outside. Otherwise, your skin will end up attracting more dirt and other grime.