Are you familiar with vegetable glycerin? There are numerous benefits of vegetable glycerin on the skin. It’s not surprising that many popular body care products have it as a main ingredient.
Glycerin is a humectant that can lock in moisture without clogging your pores. There are various ways you can use vegetable glycerin in your daily skincare routine for your face, hair, nails, body... and yes, DIY essential oil recipes.
Let's learn more about this all-natural ingredient and how you can include it in your health and beauty routine. First, I will start with the most basic question- What is glycerin?
What Is Vegetable Glycerin?
You may be familiar with the term vegetable glycerol, glycerol is just another name for vegetable glycerin. You may see it written as vegetable glycerine as well. The all-natural product comes from vegetable fats like corn, soy, palm, and coconut. It can be found as an ingredient in body care products, cosmetics, food, medicine, and more.
It has an excellent shelf life of 3 years (or more) which makes it the perfect choice for use in products that require a long shelf life. Beware that if making homemade water-based products with vegetable glycerin that don't contain preservatives, you should use your product within 2 weeks to be safe.
The purest form of vegetable glycerin is odorless, colorless, and has a thick consistency like syrup. It also has a sweet taste to it that is non-toxic. It does leave a light tacky feel on the skin when used alone.
Vegetable glycerin is used in various fields like oral health care, medicine, beauty, and herbal remedies. It has been popular since the 20th century when it was first discovered. Before being loved in the beauty industry, vegetable glycerin was mainly used in the food industry to replace alcohol and to act as an emulsifier in water-based and oil-based products. It was also used to sweeten food and assists in improving the flavor of medicines and herbal tinctures.
Where to Buy Organic Vegetable Glycerin?
Needing to buy vegetable glycerin? Look for an organic, non-GMO version for best results. Here is one that I like to use by Aura Cacia (FYI - it is labeled for external use only):
7 Benefits and Uses of Vegetable Glycerin
Using vegetable glycerin in homemade products is safe and non-toxic, not to mention its numerous benefits. This super hydration liquid has a widespread reputation for its various uses. Though this list can’t bring to you all the uses of glycerin out there, I am sure you are going to be surprised by all this nourishing liquid can do.
Here are some of the most common vegetable glycerin benefits for skin with uses.
1. Acts as Emulsifier
- When it comes to blending water and oil-based ingredients, vegetable glycerin works as an efficient emulsifier. You can also use vegetable glycerin to improve the consistency of your homemade blend by making it thicker.
- Uses: Hand soaps, recipes requiring water-based ingredients, facial toners, and essential oil blends.
2. Smooths Skin
- Vegetable glycerin is widely used to improve skin imperfections by filling in fine lines and wrinkles making your skin look flawless. The fact that it can attract and hold moisture makes it a win for smoother-looking skin, especially for people with dry or cracked skin.
- Uses: Cosmetics, skincare, body wash, and soaps.
3. Reduces Skin Problems
- Vegetable glycerin is non-comedogenic, providing moisturizing properties without clogging pores. It's a gentle cleansing, oil regulating and non-comedogenic properties make it a favorite ingredient in creams and ointments for skin problems like acne and blackheads.
- Uses: Moisturizers, creams, ointments for all skin types, especially for acne-prone skin and clogged pores.
4. Healing Properties
- Vegetable glycerin has natural skin healing properties. The cooling effect of glycerin makes it the best choice for use in healing and cooling ointments.
- Uses: Mouth ulcers, psoriasis, eczema, ointments for wounds, and healing. Sunburns, minor burns and cuts, bug and insect bites, rashes, razor cut, and diaper rashes.
5. Good for Sensitive Skin
- Vegetable glycerin is gentle on skin, making it a popular ingredient in baby products, as well as in products for the elderly and sensitive skin individuals. It's a good skin hydrant and emollient, locking in moisture making your skin feel baby soft.
- Uses: Soap, baby wipes, shower gel, moisturizers, and ointments.
6. Natural Moisturizer
- Vegetable glycerin also has properties of a humectant, it hydrates your skin by pulling in moisture from your surroundings. Your hair and skin can benefit greatly if vegetable glycerin is combined and diluted with other useful oils. It helps keep your skin moisturized even in different weather conditions for a long period. Moisturizing your skin regularly can prevent your skin from premature aging. Vegetable glycerin locks in moisture, in turn, protects you from damaged skin and reduces wrinkles.
- Uses: Body scrubs, bath salts, body butter, lip balms, creams, and moisturizers. Leave-in conditioners for dry or frizzy hair, balms, and ointments for cracked heels and chapped lips. Moisturizer for mature skin and anti-aging facial serums.
7. Cleansing Properties
- Cleansing with products containing vegetable glycerin can help your skin and hair retain their moisture without stripping them of their natural oils. Its oil regulating ability is one reason you will find it as an ingredient in products for oily skin, as well as shampoo and conditioner for oily hair and scalp. Its gentle cleansing properties make it a top choice for all skin types. You can experiment with Castile soap along with essential oils and vegetable glycerin to come up with an all-natural gentle cleanser.
- Uses: Makeup remover, body wash, hand soap, moisturizers, cleansers, and oil control products.
Recipes with Vegetable Glycerin
Rosewater and glycerine both have powerful moisturizing properties. Here is a great way to enjoy their restorative qualities in this easy DIY recipe.
Featured Recipe: Rose Facial Toner
Directions: Using a funnel, add glycerin and rose geranium oil to bottle and swirl to blend together. Fill the rest of the bottle with rose water (or witch hazel). Place the top on and shake to blend together.
Homemade Essential Oil Liquid Soap
Directions: Place all ingredients into the bottle, put on lotion pump, and shake well to mix. To use, shake well first, then squirt into the palm of the hand and cleanse the skin using friction. Rinse well.
More DIY Vegetable Glycerin Recipes
One of my favorite ways to use veg glycerine is in my foaming soap recipes. I find it makes the foamer bottle work better too.
- DIY Stain Remover
- Hair Detangler
- Foaming Soap
- Poo-Pourri Spray
- Loofah Glycerin Soap (made from glycerin soap base)
Summary of Vegetable Glycerin Benefits
As you can see above, glycerin already plays a major role in our lives. Many beauty items you may already own have vegetable glycerin in them. Try including this natural ingredient in your daily routine, you don’t want to miss out on its numerous benefits. Plus, you are going to love adding this amazing ingredient to your homemade essential oil recipes.
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