Myth "Glycerin dries out the skin" - what's the truth?
For years, glycerin has had a reputation for drying out skin. Is that correct? yes and no . As with so many ingredients, the right concentration and combination is also important here.
So that you can understand this, let me briefly explain the function of glycerin: Glycerin is hygroscopic and attracts water like a magnet . It is a humectant and is often and willingly used in cosmetics (and food).
A special feature of glycerin is its small molecules . As a result, glycerin easily penetrates the epidermis and works deeper in the skin than hyaluronic acid (also a humectant), which has larger molecules and is less able to penetrate the skin.
How glycerin affects the skin:
- increases skin moisture
- reduces water loss from the skin
- promotes the elasticity of the skin
- smoothes the skin
- stabilizes the skin's barrier function
We firmly believe that glycerine is one of the best moisture binders of all and is essential for a good moisturizing skincare product.
So where did the rumor come from that glycerin is said to have a drying effect? As I said, glycerin loves water. However, the glycerin doesn't really care where the water comes from, as long as it is easily available. It can come from three sources:
- Water from the ambient air (at high humidity)
- Water from other ingredients in the product
- Water stored in the skin
Perhaps you already know which source shouldn't be used for glycerine? Exactly, from source 3: water from your skin! As soon as glycerin does not get enough water from other sources, it draws water from the deeper layers of the skin up to the skin's surface. The drying effect is created. Two factors prevent this from happening: the right formulation and the right concentration.
Glycerin should be accompanied by water-based ingredients
Glycerin may not care where it gets its water from, but your skin certainly doesn't. It is therefore important that glycerin is always accompanied by moisturizing ingredients. Then it does not bind water from your skin, but uses the water from the product. In this combination, glycerin moisturizes your skin deeply and for a long time.
By the way, high humidity is great in connection with glycerine, i.e. vacation in a warm, humid climate or a good humidifier at home. A good moisturizer
can then work even better!
Do you have to be afraid that your product with glycerin will dry out your skin? No. Today, cosmetic products are formulated with this knowledge. No reason to panic , because in high-quality moisturizing creams and serums, glycerin is dosed and combined in such a way that it shows its best side.
☝️ Tip: Recognize water-based substances on the INCI list: At least one water-based ingredient should be present before glycerin. Best in first or second place. For example Aqua , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice or …Flower Water.