Glycerin and Glycerol in Skincare and Soap Making
Over the last few years I have noticed more and more
participants in my classes
have been concerned with using glycerin
in their hand made products.
This surprises me since I have always thought of glycerin as one of the major
reasons why my skin is so soft and healthy.
What exactly is Glycerin?
I’ve been making natural’s natural soap since 1997.
I have watched my skin go from dry and scaly to healthy and supple.
The only real change I made was using
natural soap with all of the glycerin intact.
When we produce natural soap, 2 products are created:
Soap and Glycerin
The Glycerin that is created is known as a humectant.
Humectants pull moisture from the air and seal it onto our skin.
It provides a barrier between your skin and the environment.
In this case Glycerin is a wonderful ingredient.
During the commercial soap making process,
the glycerin is extracted from the soap using a salt product.
The Glycerin is then sold to skin care companies and the pharmaceutical industry, to be added to their products.
Glycerin is actually a more valuable product than the soap it was extracted from.
In natural soap making, we leave the glycerin in the soap.
This makes our skin soft and leaves us feeling like there is a protective layer on our skin.
The absence of the glycerin in commercial soap steals moisture from your skin.
This created a vicious cycle of using drying soap then needing a lotion to balance out the drying effect.
Before I began soap making, I had dry, chapped skin most of the time and often had bleeding knuckles.
This is all a distant memory. I feel Glycerin is an important part of keeping my skin healthy.
Sources of Glycerin
It is extremely important to know the source of your glycerin and always purchase
vegetable Glycerin when it comes to skin care.
Natural Glycerin is created during the soap making process.
Other sources of Glycerin are created in a laboratory and are made using Mineral oil,
which means it is Petroleum based.
Not a good product for your skin, your health and the environment.
Why does Glycerin have a bad reputation?
I have done researched to find out if there is a real concern
and if this fear of glycerin is legitimate.
I’ve searched newspaper articles, medical resources,
and magazine archives to find this information.
I found a very interesting documented articles in the late 1990’s
There were several cases of Chinese manufactured glycerin
making its way into many less prosperous countries.
This “Glycerin” was used in medicine that was being distributed in these countries.
Though this product looked and acted like glycerin, it was actually Diethylene glycol, which is a poison.
It was used to formulate cough medicine, and actually caused many deaths.
Other information I have found was regarding a chemical glycerin that is available on the market
which is the petroleum-based glycerin I mentioned earlier.
It has been shown to cause a lot of skin sensitivities and reactions.
Should we use Glycerin?
Using 3% to 5% of natural vegetable glycerin in a skin care and lotion recipes creates a protective barrier against moisture loss.
Using Vegetable Glycerin alongside other natural ingredients is a great way to protect and maintain healthy skin.
Finding out the source of your Glycerin will allow you to make the right decisions
and avoid chemical based glycerin that is also available on the market.
By creating and using your own products, you can safely look after your own skin
without worrying about hidden ingredients in the commercial products that we are exposed to every day.
To learn more about creating your own skin care and natural soap,
please check out the online classes at Soap Making School.
To you and your healthy skin!