June 18, 2020
You could call glycerin the “always the bridesmaid” ingredient in skin care, especially organic skin care products. It doesn’t really get the credit it deserves, considering what a superstar it is when it comes to moisturizing. It’s also one of the most common ingredients, ranking #3, right after water and fragrance.
What Is Glycerin?
Glycerin (aka glycerine or glycerol) is a natural component of healthy skin. Glycerin is essentially a sugar molecule. It’s a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid that feels slightly syrupy and comes from plant or animal oils. Most glycerin is actually a blend of oils, so sourcing is important to ensure its quality. At Kari Gran, we use organic plant derived glycerin.
Glycerin is what is left when you “break the backbone” of any vegetable oil. Certain oils have a higher level of glycerin than others – soy, flax, and palm are both very high in glycerin.
Skin Benefits of Glycerin
Probably the biggest reason vegetable glycerin is so popular is because of its humectant property. (refresher: “humectant”, simply means a type of moisturizing agent that has the property of attracting water to itself.) Dr. Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai, puts it like this: "Glycerin is essentially like a sponge that pulls in water to the outer skin layer.” This moisture can come from deeper within your skin or from humidity in the air. Glycerin is an incredibly effective moisturizer when used in a cleanser or tonic, without irritating the skin.
Here are even more reasons why we love glycerin:
- Hydrates the outer layer of the skin and helps to lock in moisture, and slows the evaporation of water from your skin.
- Fortifies and strengthens skin’s barrier function, protecting against UV light, pollution, and other environmental stressors.
- Works with emollients and oils to help dry skin feel amazingly soft and supple.
- Enhances the penetration of other ingredients into skin’s uppermost layers.
- It has a long history of being eco-friendly, safe, and non-allergenic.
- Glycerin-based products are ideal for those with extra-sensitive skin, as they contain high moisture content to prevent the skin’s dehydration.
For all these reasons, we think it’s time for glycerin to have its moment in the skin care spotlight. Organic glycerin is one of only three ingredients in Kari Gran Essential Hydrating Tonic — along with aloe vera and a hint of scent from either lavender or rose oil. Simple, yet beautifully effective, the KG Essential Hydrating Tonic delivers on its name.