Glycerine is often referred to as Glycol or Glycerol.
It is an important component of our skins natural moisturising factor.
Keeping the oils in our skin balanced, protecting and hydrating it.
SO WHAT IS GLYCERINE
Vegetable glycerine is an organic compound traditionally made from vegetable fat, it is a thick gelatinous, odourless liquid, that completely dissolves in water.
A complex method of extraction known as hydrolysis, is used to create glycerine and Fatty Acids used in skincare.
The raw material is subjected to a temperature of 400 degrees, at a constant pressure of around thirty minutes.
This process, enables water to absorb the glycerol from the fatty acid phase, once this phase is complete the glycerol is then purified by distillation to create glycerine.
It is important to note that glycerin can be petrol-derived, I only use 100% vegetable glycerine in my formulas.
PROPERTIES OF GLYCERINE
- Humectant: Glycerine absorbs its own weight in water over a period of a few days, making it the perfect ingredient for a dry skin. Follow the link to find out more about humectants in skin care
- Hydrating: An ideal ingredient for face and body washes, locking in moisture to the skins tissues
- Hair care: Glycerine is a great inclusion for hair formulas, helping to retain moisture in the hair shaft
- Conditioning: It is an excellent conditioning ingredient for the hair, giving it a glossy shine
- A natural exfoliant: Glycerine can help with desquamation, the skins natural exfoliating process that breaks down skin cells, preventing dull, flaky skin
- Moisturising: Glycerine is an effective moisturising ingredient, helping to soften and lubricate skin
THE NAKED TRUTH
There is a school of thought that believes glycerine can have an adverse affect on the skin in humid climates.
It is thought that it pulls moisture from the skins tissues, however I think this maybe an urban myth, because no where can I find evidence to support this theory.
In fact all the research points to glycerine being a great choice as a humectant, helping to keep lipids locked within the stratum corneum our visible layer of skin.
Research has shown that an inclusion of glycerine within a skin care formula, keeps the skin hydrated for as long as two weeks.
Even after the product has been removed from the skin, so glycerine actually stays on the skin working its magic, keeping skin moisturised and hydrated much longer than other humectants.