Glycerin is a sugar alcohol derived from animal products, plants, or petroleum. Vegetable glycerin (which is the kind we use), is derived from plant oils. The production of glycerin involves heating triglyceride-rich vegetable fats, such as palm, soy, and coconut oils, under pressure or in the presence of a strong alkali like lye. This process separates glycerin from fatty acids and water, resulting in an odorless, sweet-tasting, syrup-like liquid.
Glycerin is widely known for its role as a humectant, attracting and retaining moisture to hydrate and soften the skin. It strengthens the skin barrier by drawing water from the air and minimizing water loss, even in the presence of environmental aggressors like pollution. This helps promote a healthy skin barrier and supports the structure of natural lipids.
As an emollient, glycerin has the ability to soften and smooth the skin. It can temporarily plump the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Glycerin penetrates the skin, increasing water volume between cells and giving the skin a fuller, firmer appearance. It also binds with and stabilizes collagen, contributing to a more youthful-looking complexion.