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Vegetable Glycerin In Skincare - Why Is It There?

December 17, 2021

glycerin

Have you noticed glycerin being in a lot of your skincare products?  Here we'll breakdown what vegetable glycerin is, how it benefits skin, and reasons why it can be safe for acne prone skin! 

What Is Vegetable Glycerin?

Glycerin is a type of water soluble sugar alcohol - but don’t let 'alcohol' part of the description fool you. Glycerin is actually commonly used as a humectant - meaning it draws water in. It is a clear, odorless liquid that is derived from vegetables like soybean, coconut, or palm. It’s possible that glycerin can be derived from animal products too, but vegetable glycerin specifically is plant based.

It has a thick, almost maple syrup-like consistency.

Why is glycerin in my skincare?

The reason why a lot of cosmetics or skincare products have vegetable glycerin in them is because they serve many purposes and have some great skin benefits as well!

It can be mixed into products to keep ice crystals from forming in them, and it also works great at keeping products from drying out, or as a way to bind different types of ingredients together in the formulation.

How Does It Benefit Skin?

Vegetable glycerin is classified as a humectant. That means that it can draw moisture into the skin and it will keep the water there. It’s able to pull water from the air and also from our body to add more moisture to the skin barrier. Keeping the skin barrier healthy is key to reduce inflammation and it may help prevent acne breakouts too.

This helps strengthen the skin barrier, and helps keep skin healthier overall.

There are studies showing that applying a moisturizer with glycerin can increase the skin hydration level after 10 days. There’s also some evidence that glycerin works better and increasing the skin’s moisture levels even better than hyaluronic acid and silicone combined! Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Is Glycerin Safe For Acne Prone Skin?

Yes Glycerin is a non irritating ingredient that is well tolerated by almost everyone. Although pure glycerin may feel thick and syrupy, it is usually diluted into a formula and it’s a sugar alcohol, not an oil so it wouldn’t clog your pores.

Since glycerin helps to hydrate and strengthen the skin, it can be beneficial for acne prone skin where skin may be dry, or inflamed from various acne medications and the acne itself.

Products with glycerin in them can help act as a natural hydrating barrier against irritants in the environment.

How To Use Vegetable Glycerin For Skincare

The good thing is that vegetable glycerin can be found in plenty of formulated skincare products so you’ll get extra benefits from glycerin and the additional ingredients too. To get the hydrating out of your skincare product containing glycerin, you may want to have damp skin before putting on your serum, lotion, or moisturizer. That gives the glycerin some extra water to hold onto and hydrate your skin with.

If you want to use pure vegetable glycerin, make sure you dilute it a few drops with some water first. Pure vegetable glycerin could pull too much water from the skin and cause an opposite effect.   

Vegetable glycerin is safe to use all over the body and on the lips. 

Products With Vegetable Glycerin

At Banish we formulate most of our products with glycerin in them, because of it’s amazing moisturizing and skin healing properties.

Some popular items with glycerin are the Banish Oil. It’s a vitamin c serum made with natural ingredients and stabilized with Vitamin C and E.

Banish Oil


The Vitamin C Creme works to brighten dark marks and it’s a lightweight moisturizer that is great for oily or combination skin types.

banish vitamin c creme


The All Clear Mint Cleanseris a sulfate free foaming cleanser. It’s great for removing excess oils and dirt off the skin without being overly drying and stripping.

all clear mint cleanser


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