In the skincare sphere, there are certain ingredients that always steal the spotlight (vitamin C and hyaluronic acid – we’re looking at you). While others, like glycerin, go under the radar.
A moisture magnet, glycerin is a skin superstar that, in our opinion, deserves more airtime. Incredibly hydrating, it helps skin retain moisture (just like hyaluronic acid) to deliver a plumper and smoother complexion.
And, as like hyaluronic acid, it’s also great for this time of year because it protects against the damaging effects of cold wind and dry indoor air that can starve skin of moisture. So if, like us, your skin is struggling with this new wave of cold weather, it’s a good idea to give glycerin a go.
The good news is that most of us will already own a skincare product containing glycerin, as it forms the basis of most moisturisers and lotions.
Here’s everything you need to know about the hero ingredient…
What is glycerin?
“Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a naturally occurring hydrator found in lipid (fat) form,” explains Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, CeraVe Consultant Doctor. Completely colourless and odourless, the thick liquid can be found in many of our go-to water-based skincare products – from cleansers and creams to serums and lotions.
Like hyaluronic acid, glycerin is a humectant – meaning “it’s able to take and hold moisture from the environment and draw it into the skin when applied,” says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, Founder Of 111SKIN and Head of Surgical Practice at 111 Harley St. “This works because the molecules of glycerin attract and form molecular bonds with the H2O (water) molecules.”
What are the skincare benefits of glycerin for skin?
Hailed by dermatologists as a hydrating hero, glycerin helps moisturise the skin for a plumper, healthier and more radiant complexion. “Glycerin very much acts as the natural moisturising factor of the skin,” agrees Dr Ejikeme, who adds that this ingredient has several other skin benefits, too.
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