When it comes to skincare, we often get excited by weird and complicated product titles. Although we all know that otherworldly sounding ingredients do not necessarily equate to extraordinary effects, it seems that most of us like to think so. However, today, we introduce you to a hardworking sleeper compound that has proven its positive effect even to the giants of the pharmaceutical industry, and that’s glycerin. Glycerin for skincare is not an emerging topic but has a long history behind it.
Although you may not have considered glycerin as a prominent skincare product, chances are, it has already found a way to your medicine cabinet and made its way into your skin. Glycerin is such a great compound that many skincare companies incorporate it into their ingredients.
If you want to see if glycerin has found its way into your skincare routine, read your cosmetics label. I bet a significant number of them contain this amazing combination.
What Is Glycerin?
Glycerin is a natural product of the body’s metabolism. When dietary fats, which are mainly triglycerides, are broken down by enzymes, they lose their fatty acids, and what remains is glycine, which is also called glycerol. Each Glycerin can usually attach to three fatty acids.
Glycerin is a water-soluble substance that belongs to a family of natural moisturizing agents. It is a natural humectant, which is available in liquid and gel forms.
Glycerin is soluble in both water and fat and can penetrate deep into the skin due to its low molecular weight. This magical compound can absorb moisture from the air and carry it deep into the skin.
Glycerin can be obtained from both plants and animals. Of course, it can also be made artificially. The good news for vegetarians is that the glycerin used for skincare, which is found in most cosmetics and lotions, is commonly derived from plants.
Glycerin is great for your skin. It helps improve the texture and elasticity of your skin and gives it a radiant glow. Glycerin is utilized as a humectant that gets absorbed by the skin to replenish the moisture your skin has lost in skincare.
Glycerin is a sweet, odourless liquid found in most natural plant and animal fats, including your skin.
It was first discovered in 1779 by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele through a chemical reaction involving olive oil. However, in recent years, Glycerin has been produced as a by-product of soap making. It is important to note that it is not toxic to living organisms.
But how does Glycerin help to keep your skin healthy? Let us see in detail
Glycerin Uses For Skin
Glycerin Restores And Retains Skin Moisture
With a molecular weight of approximately 92 g/mol, glycerin can easily penetrate the underlying layers of the skin. Since this compound is soluble both in water and fat, it can absorb moisture from the air and lock it in deeper layers.
However, glycerin absorbs moisture from the nearest source. Therefore, in dry weather, this source may be the deep layers of the skin. This indicates the need for glycerin dilution. Rosewater – which contains numerous antioxidants – seems to be a perfect diluent. When mixing glycerin with rose water, glycerin absorbs the needful moisture from rose water and draws it to the deeper layers.
Glycerin Is An Anti-Irritant Compound
When irritating compounds penetrate the skin, they exert their destructive properties that lead to skin irritation. Glycerin prevents these substances from penetrating into the skin and thus minimizes their harmful effects.
Various compounds such as SLS, NaOH and DMSO can irritate the skin. However, experiments have shown that a mixture of water and 70% glycerol can significantly reduce their penetration into damaged skin.
The interesting point is that glycerin has shown superiority in its protective functions in comparison with other potential anti-irritant factors.
Maintaining Skin Barrier Function
Intact skin ensures sufficient protection against external harmful agents. Any factor affecting the skin barrier and disrupting its function provides a chance for opportunistic microorganisms to penetrate the skin, proliferate and develop symptoms.
Glycerin is one of the compounds that protect the integrity of the skin barrier via complex mechanisms, one of which is moisturizing the skin. The other one is the stratum corneum lipids phase transition.
Glycerin Improves Skin Surface Smoothness
Glycerin plasticizes the outermost layer of skin cells – called stratum corneum (horny layer), giving the skin a softer appearance.
One possible mechanism is that glycerin shrinks the horny layer cells. Beyond smoothing the skin, this mechanism can explain the anti-irritant impact of glycerin. When horny layer cells shrink, the stimulants can not penetrate as before.
Optical Properties Of Glycerin
While it has not been proven, many people claim that glycerin brightens their skin tone and points it out as a whitener.
The skin is a pretty complex structure made of a combination of heterogeneous materials. Glycerin can reduce tissue light scattering and increase tissue transmittance. This possible mechanism may justify the claim that glycerin is bleach.
On the other hand, glycerin contains exfoliating compounds. Therefore, it may lighten the discolouration caused by acne, blemishes, eczema, etc., by removing dead skin.
Glycerin appears to enhance the penetration of some substances into the skin. For example, studies revealed enhanced penetration of nicotinic acid (vitamin C) by glycerol. The potential mechanism is glycerin’s ability to react with stratum corneum lipids as well as its moisturizing effect on the skin, both of which increase the transportability of some substances.
Wound Healing Effect of Glycerin
To repair the lesions, cells need to proliferate and replace the lost ones. As mentioned, glycerin is one of the compounds that naturally exist in the structure of natural fats – including skin lipids. So, it makes sense that glycerol supplement speeds up new cell reproduction.
The process of proliferating requires energy. Glycerol can play an important role in cellular energy production to facilitate the repair process. Cellular glycerol is a key determinant of cellular ATP energy.
Normalization of the skin barrier function and moisturizing the skin are essential for wound healing.
Antimicrobial and Antiviral effect
Glycerin can decline viable cell populations of some bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus subtilis. The antibacterial effect of glycerin appears to be greater at body temperature. This ability of glycerin is attributed to its effect on the cellular morphology of bacteria.
Glycerin can activate some enzymes that destroy viruses and kill them by damaging their genetic material.
Despite the effects of glycerin on bacteria and viruses, it does not negatively affect the skin. For this reason, it is a good preservative in skin transplantation.
Does Glycerin Help to Eliminate Demodex Mites?
Based on our knowledge, no study has directly examined the glycerin effect on eliminating Demodex mites.
Demodex mites are microscopic organisms that live in small numbers in the pores of our skin. In fact, they are a small part of the human skin microbiome. However, if their population increases, they can cause or exacerbate various skin and hair problems. Rosacea, acne, alopecia, hair loss, itching, dermatitis and hair thinning are among the dermatological issues related to Demodex overpopulation. So, it is essential to get rid of them!
As mentioned, studies have shown the antibacterial and antiviral impact of glycerin. Glycerin can lyse bacteria by changing osmotic pressure across their cell wall. However, unlike bacteria, Demodex mites do not consist of a single cell. They are multicellular organisms that have various internal mechanisms to maintain homeostasis and deal with external threats.
Although studies have not examined the effect of glycerin on Demodex mites’ elimination, it can effectively relieve the Demodex-related symptoms.
In summary, Demodex mites’ bodies are full of harmful bacteria and viruses. Many of the symptoms related to the mites are rooted in these microorganisms. When Demodex dies, its body content – including toxic microorganisms – leak onto the skin, causing itching, dermatitis, and the onset of inflammatory reactions. Glycerin helps to reduce the Demodex-related issues by eliminating these microorganisms.
Glycerin is an anti-inflammatory compound that prevents irritants from penetrating into the underlying layers of the skin. It also alleviates the inflammation caused by Demodex and aids in healing.
The vulnerability of the skin barrier is a factor that facilitates the penetration of pathogens and provides a good opportunity for Demodex mites to proliferate. Glycerin strengthens the skin barrier and restores its health.
Glycerin, One of the Magical Compounds of PROCUTiN
At Ozidex, we have produced a unique product that has pushed the boundaries of the Demodex treatment methods. PROCUTiN is a revolutionary product that can play an influential role in alleviating Demodex-related signs.
Getting rid of Demodex can be a complex process in which several compounds may act synergistically. PROCUTiN is a mixture of a variety of effective ingredients, each of which has unique aspects that counteract Demodex mites.
Upon direct contact, PROCUTiN weakens and destroys Demodex mites. In addition, compounds such as glycerin, polysorbate 20 and coconut oil fight against microorganisms and play an influential role in soothing Demodex mites symptoms by various mechanisms.
The glycerin in PROCUTiN softens your skin, disinfects it and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses. It reduces inflammation caused by Demodex activity and restores natural and beautiful colour and texture to your skin.
Glycerin for Face and Skin: Hydration and Protection
Glycerol and the skin: holistic approach to its origin and functions