A Natural Humectant, Vegetable Glycerin, Benefits, and Use

Vegetable Glycerine, also known as Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Glycerol, or simply Glycerol, is a transparent, colorless and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. Conversely, non-vegan Glycerine is derived from animal fats. Although ancient civilizations used botanical matter in both culinary and medicinal applications, Vegetable Glycerine was never used in such early times and is a rather modern substance, the extraction of which only began in the 20th century. It is traditionally also used in the food industry to replace alcohol and to artificially sweeten foods (dairy products, fudge, candy, baked goods, cereals, pasta, meat, processed fruits and vegetables, egg products, soups, sauces, condiments, and fish products) without causing blood sugar levels to rise, making it ideal for those with diabetes. Sometimes it is also used to uphold moisture content and to promote better fusion between oil- and water-based components.

This versatile substance finds many uses in a countless skin- and healthcare products as well, such as medicines, cough syrups, expectorants, soaps and detergents, moisturizers, shampoos, toothpaste, shaving creams, and other cosmetic products and toiletries. Glyercine-based products are ideal for those with extra-sensitive skin, as they contain high moisture content to prevent the skin’s dehydration. While it is known for being safe and eco-friendly, the popularity of Vegetable Glycerine is largely due to its humectant property, which draws moisture to the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated. This moisture-retaining quality allows cosmetic products to penetrate more easily into the skin. Just as in the food industry, Vegetable Glycerine acts as an alcohol substitute in cosmetics as well, making it ideal for those who prefer not to use products that expose their skin to alcohol, which can have potentially irritating and drying effects.

Used topically, Vegetable Glycerine’s natural emollience draws moisture into the skin and helps to retain the moisture, thereby softening, smoothing, and soothing the complexion. This hydrating property is known to enhance the appearance and texture of unhealthy skin, which may be characterized by dryness, flaking, and wrinkles caused by harsh environmental stressors as well as destructive bacteria.

VEGETABLE GLYCERINE BENEFITS

Vegetable Glycerine easily penetrates and gets absorbed into the skin without clogging pores while also making it easier for the skin to absorb other active, skin health-enhancing ingredients in products. By filling fine lines and miniscule cracks on the skin and by facilitating the regeneration of new skin, Vegetable Glycerine smooths out the complexion for a rejuvenated appearance. Furthermore, it evens out the skin tone to lighten darker areas, thereby diminishing the appearance of unwanted spots and marks.

With cleansing properties that do not strip the skin or hair of their natural oils, Vegetable Glycerine works to keep the skin and scalp free of acne-causing bacteria. It regulates oil production, soothes itching and dryness, eliminates congestion in the pores, nourishes and repairs damage, contributes shine to dullness, maintains elasticity, and contributes sun protective properties to guard against the harmful effects of overexposure to UV radiation. By maintaining water balance, Vegetable Glycerine’s humectant quality reduces the chance of moisture loss caused by evaporation, thus keeping the hair and skin hydrated.

Used medicinally, Vegetable Glycerine’s cooling quality makes it a soothing salve for discomforts and conditions of the skin, such as cuts, burns, itching, hives, rashes, sores, eczema, psoriasis, and other ailments that are characterized by dryness, itchiness, or inflammation. Due to its ability to encourage normal skin cell maturation, Vegetable Glycerine is known to facilitate healing when applied to acne, scratches, blemishes, and wounds. It locks in moisture, creates a protective barrier on the skin against environmental contaminants and pollutants, and helps suppress the urge to scratch any irritation. Additionally, the anti-bacterial properties of Vegetable Glycerine combined with its mildness means that it works to soothe and prevent future acne breakouts without introducing the skin to harsh synthetic ingredients that could potentially aggravate the affected areas.

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Vegetable Glycerine is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Moisturizing, Tonic, Cleansing, Protective, Humectant, Soothing, Strengthening, Reparative
  • MEDICINAL: Tonic, Wound-Healing, Immune-Boosting, Protective, Aseptic, Anti-Bacterial, Hypoallergenic, Soothing

VEGETABLE GLYCERINE USE

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Vegetable Glycerine makes an excellent moisturizer with nourishing properties. For a smooth body lotion with a fluffy consistency, begin by placing 142g (5 oz.) Shea Butter in a heat-safe container and then placing the container into a double boiler. Warm up the Shea Butter on low heat until it melts. To this, add 2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil and 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil and stir the ingredients together to ensure thorough mixing. Next, place the entire container into the freezer for 10 minutes, during which time a crust should form on top of the blend. After removing the container, whip the blend with an electric beater while slowly drizzling in 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine. Continue beating the blend until it appears opaque and becomes stiffer in consistency. Incorporate a total of 1 tsp. Cornstarch to the blend, adding it in ¼ tsp at a time and continuing to whip the Shea Butter after each addition. Next, add ¼ tsp Vitamin E Liquid and 4-6 drops of a preferred essential oil. Suggestions include Cedarwood, Lavender, Frankincense, and Ylang Ylang for enhanced soothing, balancing, clarifying, lifting, tightening, and restorative action. With a spoon, transfer the whipped Shea Butter lotion into a clean glass jar with an airtight cap. This moisturizer can be used immediately and retains its optimal skin health benefits before 4-6 months.

For a facial cleanser that not only purifies, hydrates, and softens the skin but that also exudes a pleasant scent, begin by combining 4 Tbsp. Raw Honey, 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine, ½ cup freshly brewed Green Tea, and a total of 10 drops of the following essential oils: Geranium, Lemon, and Patchouli. Using a blender, thoroughly mix all the ingredients, then store the resultant face wash in a darkly-colored pump dispenser bottle. For a cooling and balancing facial toner, simply combine ¼ cup of Glycerine with ¼ cup Witch Hazel and ½ cup Rose Floral Water.

For a non-comedogenic serum that is reputed to soothe and reduce the appearance of acne breakouts overnight, combine ½ tsp Vegetable Glycerine, ½ tsp Orange Blossom Water, and 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and apply this serum to affected areas of the face. Leave it on overnight and, in the morning, rinse it off.

To address the problem of blackheads, mix the following ingredients in a bowl and stir them into a paste: 4 Tbsp. Almond Powder, 1 Tbsp. Fullers Earth Clay, and 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerine. Once the paste consistency has been achieved, spread the mixture over affected areas of skin and, after it air dries, rinse it off with cold water.

To achieve softer and more hydrated skin with a facial massage blend, simply combine 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine with 10 Tbsp. of water. Massage this hydrating, skin tone-balancing serum into the face nightly before going to sleep and leave it on overnight. In the morning, rinse it off with cold water.

For an exfoliating and moisturizing body scrub that is known to remove dead cells in order to reveal newer skin, begin by combining equal parts of Vegetable Glycerine and sugar in a cup. To this, add 3 drops of Aloe Vera Gel Juice. In the shower, apply this blend to the skin like a regular body scrub and massage it into a lather for a few minutes before washing it off. This simple and natural exfoliant is ideal for promoting a healthier and more radiant complexion.

For a moisturizing aftershave lotion that also soothes cuts and burns caused by shaving, first combine ½ cup Witch Hazel Distillate and 1 Tbsp. dried Calendula flowers and allow this infusion to steep for 2 weeks. When the blend is ready, add 4 drops each of Sandalwood and Lavender essential oils as well as ¼ cup Rose Floral Water. In ½ cup of the resultant solution, add ¼ cup of Vegetable Glycerine. Apply this moisturizer like a customary after-shave lotion.

For a natural and nourishing Glycerine-based shampoo that is known to promote healthier and stronger strands, begin by pouring ¼ cup of Vegetable Glycerine and ½ cup of thick Coconut Milk into a clean bottle with the help of a funnel. To this, add a total of 12 drops of essential oils that are known to promote hair growth, such as Cedarwood, Rosemary, Vetiver, and Geranium. Cap the bottle and shake it vigorously to ensure the thorough mixing of all ingredients. To apply this shampoo in the shower, massage it into the scalp and throughout the hair like a regular shampoo and leave it in for 5 minutes before rinsing it out with cold water.

For a simple conditioning hair mask that is known to promote the hair’s luster, first, combine ¼ cup Vegetable Glycerine and ¼ cup of Aloe Vera Gel Juice in a small bowl and whisk them together. Next, apply this mask to hair that has already been washed and shampooed. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.

For a protective and reparative leave-in hair conditioner that locks in moisture, begin by adding the following ingredients in a blender: 1 cup Coconut Carrier Oil, 1/8 cup of Aloe Vera Gel Juice, 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine, 2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seed Carrier Oil, 1 tsp of Castor Carrier Oil, 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 4 drops Sage Essential Oil. To use this leave-in conditioner blend, apply it to wet hair and style as usual. When not in use, it can be stored in a dark container.

Used in medicinal applications, Vegetable Glycerine cleanses, calms, facilitates the healing and fading of scars and abrasions and promotes the skin’s suppleness and radiance. To soothe the itchiness and burning sensation characteristic of minor scalds, such as those caused by radiation, electricity, or heat, simply apply a few drops of Vegetable Glycerine directly to the affected areas of skin and wash it off after 20 minutes. This can be repeated several times throughout the day to alleviate discomfort.

For a warming analgesic liniment that is reputed to decrease inflammation, improve circulation, and soften rough or dry skin, whisk and thoroughly combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: ½ cup Vegetable Glycerine, 2 tsp Powdered Ginger, 2 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil. Transfer the mixture to an air-tight jar. To use this salve, first shake the jar well to stir any Ginger Powder that might have settled at the bottom, then rub the ointment into the preferred areas of skin, avoiding any sensitive parts, such as the eyes.

For a cooling balm that soothes the discomforts of insect bites, rashes, and hives, among other skin complaints, begin by thoroughly combining the following ingredients in a small clean container: 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel Juice, 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerine, and 4 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil. To use this calming gel for relief, apply it directly to the affected areas of skin.

Used in massage blends, Vegetable Glycerine contributes a warming quality when applied to the skin. For an aphrodisiac blend that is known to stimulate sensuality, begin by combining 60 ml (2 oz.) Vegetable Glycerine and 60 ml (2 oz.) Almond Carrier Oil in a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass bottle. Next, add 30 drops German Chamomile Essential Oil, 2 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil, and 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil. Cap the bottle and vigorously shake it to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Apply this like a usual massage blend.

A GUIDE TO VEGETABLE GLYCERINE & ITS BENEFITS

GLYCERINE VEGETABLE – USP 99.7% – RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Glycerine

Method of Extraction and Plant Part:  Hydrolysis of Palm Oil

Country of Origin: Malaysia

Believed to:

  • Be a clear, colorless, and odorless viscous liquid
  • Be ideal for use in cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and other household cleaning products
  • Be soluble in both water and alcohol, making it a versatile and thus popular agent in the manufacturing sector
  • Be a natural source ingredient with emollient properties, which smooth and soften the skin
  • Assist the skin’s surface in retaining moisture, making it one of the most popular cosmetic additives

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR VEGETABLE GLYCERINE

Vegetable Glycerine is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Vegetable Glycerine without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Vegetable Glycerine, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Vegetable Glycerine must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Vegetable Glycerine should not be applied to the unclean skin, to open or infected wounds, or to skin that is exuding any type of fluid discharge.

Potential side effects of Vegetable Glycerine include anaphylaxis, confusion, diarrhea, dehydration, difficulty breathing, skin dryness, excessive urination, headache, hives, itching, irregular heartbeat, skin irritation, nausea, palpitations, rashes, redness, swelling, or vomiting.

Individuals with sensitivities or allergies to either Coconut Oil or Palm Oil could potentially experience allergic reactions to Vegetable Glycerine. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Vegetable Glycerine, sometimes spelled Vegetable Glycerin, is a transparent, colorless, and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. It is also known as Vegetable Glycerol or simply Glycerol.
    • Used topically, Vegetable Glycerine attracts and locks moisture into the skin, thereby softening, smoothing, and soothing the complexion. Its pH level closely matches that of the skin, which makes it gentle enough to be used by those with sensitive skin and in baby skincare.
    • Vegetable Glycerine cleanses the skin without clogging pores, facilitates the skin’s absorption of other beneficial active ingredients in natural products, smooths the look of fine lines and miniscule cracks on the skin, facilitates the regeneration of new skin, evens out the skin tone to lighten darker areas, and diminishes the appearance of unwanted spots and marks.
    • Vegetable Glycerine protects the skin and scalp from destructive bacteria, regulates oil production, soothes itching and dryness, eliminates congestion in the pores, nourishes unhealthy and dull skin and hair, maintains elasticity of the skin and strands, and contributes sun protective properties to guard against the harmful effects of overexposure to UV radiation.
  • Used medicinally, Vegetable Glycerine cools, soothes, and facilitates the healing of skin discomforts and conditions, such as scratches, cuts, blemishes, burns, itching, hives, rashes, sores, eczema, psoriasis, and other ailments that are characterized by dryness, itchiness, or inflammation. It creates a protective barrier on the skin to guard against environmental contaminants and pollutants.

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