Vegetable glycerin, or also known as glycerol can be found in almost everything these days.
You can find it in food items, medications, cosmetics, lotions, and even shampoos.
Without knowing it, you are probably using glycerin on a daily basis.
Among the many uses, we can divide them in three groups: for your skin, for your overall beauty routine, and for the kitchen.
Vegetable glycerin is a natural triglyceride derived from plant sources such as palm, coconut, and soy oils.
It is clear and odorless liquid that has a jelly-like consistency.
The glycerin is composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
The organic compound is water soluble and has a sweet taste.
It is completely safe and non-toxic.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the popular and common uses.
For your skin
- Use it as a moisturizer by whipping equal portions of shea butter and glycerin. Once you have the paste, apply the silky and fluffy lotion all over your body. You can go a step further and add some essential oils for more benefits, like lavender or frankincense
- Glycerin can also be used as a humectant, a substance that attracts water from its surroundings. Being that glycerin is a potent humectant, you can apply it on your skin to keep it hydrated and radiant. No other ingredients needed
- You can use it as a toner by mixing ¼ cup of witch hazel, ¼ cup of glycerin, and ½ cup of rose water to prepare cooling and skin-balancing toner. You can also add essential oils like geranium to make it even more luxurious treat for your skin
- To control oils on your skin, apply glycerin. There is no need for grease face anymore, as glycerin has natural oil regulating properties
- You can use it as a cleanser thanks to its cleansing properties. Prepare a face wash by combining equal amounts of glycerin and liquid castile soap. Add essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, or lavender, and wash your face to get it bacteria-free
- Glycerin smoothens skin when applied directly. Glycerin can fill up the fine lines and microscopic cracks on your skin
- Use it to remove acne by mixing ½ teaspoon of glycerin, ½ teaspoon of orange blossom water and 4 drops of tea tree oil. Being that glycerin is a non-comedogenic, it is great for a DIY solution for acne. Apply the mixture on your skin overnight, and wash it off in the morning
- Because it has natural cooling effect, glycerin can help sooth rashes, itching, hives, and similar skin conditions. Apply it on the affected area
- Because glycerin has non-comedogenic factor of 0, it can be used for those with sensitive skin. It is safe and non-toxic for children and babies
- Use it as a natural sunscreen, as vegetable glycerin has SPF qualities. You can use it on your own, or mix with other sun protection factor ingredients for a homemade sun screen
- Glycerin is also great as an emulsifier, and you can use it for a natural base for emulsifying oils and essential oils. You can use it to bind oils for a silky smooth lotion, gel, or cream
- Among the vegetable glycerin uses for skin, we have to mention its natural anti-aging properties. Being that glycerin is moisturizer and humectant, it is great to make aging skin look fresh and prevent premature wrinkles
- You can use it as a stabilizer and preservative in homemade beauty products like lotions and shampoo
For your beauty treatments
- Use vegetable glycerin as a hand softener if you are suffering from dry hands or rough and scaly palms. Just rub glycerin among the hands
- You can add it to your regular toothpaste to make it more palatable. Glycerin has some teeth whitening properties, making it great ingredient for DIY teeth whitening home toothpaste
- Glycerin can also be used to prepare DIY natural shampoo that nourishes your hair. Combine ½ cup of coconut milk and ¼ cup of glycerin. Add 12 drops of essential oils that promote hair growth like rosemary or cedarwood. Apply on your hair and massage once every other day
- You can also use it as a hair conditioner by mixing ¼ cup of aloe vera gel and ¼ cup of vegetable glycerin. Apply onto shampooed hair and let it stay on your hair for 10 minutes. Rinse afterwards
- Being that glycerin is non-toxic in nature, you can use it to treat chapped lips and mouth ulcers
- Wash your feet and apply vegetable glycerin on your cracked heels. Watch as magic happens and your heels are healed overnight
- After removing nail paint, apply a coat of glycerin on your nails to prevent them from looking dried up
In the kitchen
- Glycerin keeps foods moist, which is why manufacturers add it to foods like baked goods, candy, nutrition bars, and energy bars. You can also use it when you are baking at home
- Add to herbal tinctures if you want to add a sweet taste and cut out the sourness or bitterness of tinctures
- You can use it to relieve constipation as it has a laxative effect. If you have kidney problems or suffering from diabetes, avoid glycerin
Are there any side effects?
So far, there have not been reported any serious side effects from using vegetable glycerin.
Of course, that is as long as you are not using expired glycerin.
Using an expired version can cause rashes, hives, and redness on your skin.
Some people have also reported dryness of their skin when using glycerin.
This happens because glycerin is a humectant and may draw water from your skin.
Dilute it to avoid the problem on your skin