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6 Reasons Why Glycerin Should Be in Your Skincare Routine

6 Reasons Why Glycerin Should Be in Your Skincare Routine

Attention, skincare enthusiasts! Let's talk about glycerin–the unsung hero of hydration. While hyaluronic acid has been stealing the spotlight for the past few years, glycerin has been quietly working wonders for your skin and hair. In fact, it’s probably in many of the skin and hair products you use!

In the past, we’ve joked about glycerin needing to hire hyaluronic acid’s publicist, but we’ve been so happy to see glycerin getting a ton of good press lately. It’s an OG skincare ingredient and a staple in many products, so we’re excited to spread the love and share 6 reasons why this skincare gem should be in your routine.

But First… What Exactly is Glycerin?

You might be surprised to hear this, but glycerin was discovered completely by accident. 

In 1779, chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered it by chance since it was a then-unknown by-product of the soap-making process.

Fast forward to now, and glycerin is in tons of products because it is just so phenomenal at hydrating the skin. For skincare, glycerin mostly comes from plant fats or is synthetically produced, but it can also come from animal fats. At Graydon Skincare, we love our plant-powered skincare, so of course we use plant-based glycerin.

So why does that make it a great addition to your skincare routine? Let us share.

Reason #1: Glycerin Keeps Skin Hydrated and Dewy

Glycerin has anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties–but its real superpower is that it’s a humectant, which is a substance with the ability to capture and retain hydration. Think of it like this: humectants act like magnets, gathering hydration from the environment (and even from within your body) and drawing it into your skin. 

Glycerin is a magnet for hydration–gathering it into the skin from your body and environment.

And not only is glycerin a powerful humectant–it’s the best humectant according to this 2016 study. With this incredible moisturizing ability, glycerin keeps your skin looking juicy, plump, and healthy!

Reason #2: Glycerin is Good For All Skin Types

Glycerin is part of your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) which means that it’s a substance your body makes naturally to maintain adequate skin hydration.

Because it is part of your NMF, there’s a very low chance it will irritate your skin. That is why glycerin works so well for many skin types, including oily, dry, combination, mature, and sensitive skin!

Our tip: To get the most out of your glycerin products, top them off with an occlusive layer to seal in all that hydration!

Reason #3: Glycerin Protects Your Skin Barrier

Your skin barrier is what protects your skin from outside pollution and environmental damage, which can lead to the formation of free radicals that cause damage to your skin. Glycerin, according to this 2008 study, improves skin barrier function by ensuring the substance between the skin cells is the right consistency, while also keeping the cell membranes and intracellular lipids healthy.

Basically, what this means is that the “mortar” between the “bricks” or cells of your skin are being supported by glycerin.

Protecting your skin barrier leads to skin longevity. A more resilient skin barrier can help protect against acne, dry patches, congested or textured skin, inflammation, and more!

Reason #4 Glycerin Improves the Look + Feel of Your Hair

Were you thinking glycerin was just for your skin? Think again! Glycerin is also a staple in hair care products because of its ability to hydrate both your scalp and your strands.

Why does this hydration matter? Generally, when hair is dry that’s when it tends to get frizz and break. Glycerin’s moisturizing ability helps you define your waves or curls, reduce breakage, and help hair grow longer. Plus, hydrated hair feels extra silky to the touch.

Reason #5: Glycerin Soothes Irritated and Inflamed Skin

Glycerin is actually FDA-approved for many products like burn and scar creams because of its ability to soothe and heal with its anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. On top of that, glycerin’s combo of moisturization and anti-inflammation make it great for treating itchy, irritated, dry skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

Inflammation due to acne is also a concern for many people. Luckily, glycerin is non-comedogenic too so it’s a great soothing and hydrating ingredient for oily or acne-prone skin.

Reason #6: Glycerin is Versatile and Can be Layered

As we shared before, glycerin is part of the body’s NMF. Because of this, it means that glycerin is extremely unlikely to irritate the skin, so it can be applied and layered on to the skin many times without adverse or irritating effects–which you might get with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or retinol (especially if you are using products with higher percentages of these actives).

Since you can layer glycerin products to your heart’s content, it’s actually great that many different types of products from shampoos and conditioners to moisturizers and water-based serums contain this superstar ingredient!

Where to Find Products with Glycerin

We’re giving you a challenge: check out the skin and hair products you already use and see how long it takes to find one with glycerin in it. We’ll bet you’ll only have to pick up a few–maybe even just one–to find glycerin in the ingredients list.

Moisturization + barrier protection + versatile + soothing properties? That’s a winning combination to us, which is why glycerin is in almost all of our products!

In our lineup of moisturizers, you’ll find glycerin in: Skin Stuff, Phyto Clear, Berry Rich, and Putty. It’s also in our water-based serum Supermoon Serum, our illuminating primer, Face Glow, and two of our cleansers, Aloe Milk and Face Foam.

Glycerin is also a staple in our body and hair care products. Give your hair some love with our Matcha Mint Shampoo and Matcha Mint Hair Smoothie, and treat yourself all over with our All Over Soap and All Over Lotion.
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