Glycerine & Skin – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly?

If you have been following me for a while, you probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much lately, nor have I been posting on Instagram as frequently. For those of you wondering why, I do want to say a big Thank You for actually caring!

I am not prepared to go into details at the moment, but I will say that I received some news about my health, and that I will be undergoing a medical procedure this month (most likely sooner than later). Worst case scenario, surgery. With that said, Thank You so much again for all of your sweet thoughts and messages! I appreciate each and every one of you! 😘😘

That aside, I have had people ask me numerous times if glycerine will clog pores and if I think it is overall a good or bad ingredient in skincare and makeup. So, without further ado, here is the skinny on glycerine.

Most of the products that I have used with glycerine in them have had it listed as one of the first ingredients. As most of us know, the higher on the list an ingredient falls, the more of that particular element is in the product. There are only tiny dabs of the ingredients that are on the end of the list. Therefore, the product that is described in the image above has a high concentration of glycerine in it. Should we be using it? Is it safe? Will it clog our pores? Let’s find out.

Glycerine (a.k.a. glycerin or glycol) is a humectant. Humectants are known for attracting water from their surroundings. So, if your moisturizer has glycerine in it, this powerful ingredient will help to draw water into your skin and keep it hydrated. It also seals any moisture into your skin so it won’t escape.

Here is the kicker about using glycerine in your moisturizers, though: If the environment outside of your skin has less than 65-70% humidity, there is a good chance that the glycerine in your moisturizer will draw the moisture from the lower layers of your skin up to your top layer, and that’s not the desired effect, now, is it? That, in my opinion, is kinda like robbing Peter to pay Paul, don’t ya think?

Where Does Glycerine Come From?

Glycerine can be produced synthetically, but for those of us who desire natural products, glycerine can also be plant derived. So, be sure to look into the brand you are purchasing from, or even ask them how their glycerine is made if you only want to use natural ingredients.

Is it Comedogenic?

I have talked about comedogenic vs. non-comedogenic before. Basically, if something is comedogenic, it will likely clog your pores and cause blackheads and acne. If it is non-comedogenic, it will not clog your pores.

Rather than being either comedogenic or non-comedogenic, ingredients fall on a comedogenic rating scale. The scale ranges from 0-5, with 0 being non-comedogenic (they are the least likely to clog your pores) and 5 being the most likely to clog your pores. So, the truth is, nothing is either comedogenic or non-comedogenic, but rather, ingredients are either less likely or more likely to clog pores.

Glycerine, believe it or not, even though it has a greasy, slick consistency that is reminiscent of mineral oil or Vaseline, has a rating of 0, which means it is the least likely to clog your pores. These are the two strongest reasons you will find glycerine in moisturizers – it has a 0 rating on the comedogenic scale and it draws moisture into the skin.

If you are using a product with glycerine in it and it is breaking you out, chances are one of the other ingredients in the product is the culprit.

Glycerine Texture/Look

As I mentioned above, glycerine can be a bit greasy feeling, so it can leave your skin feeling tacky, at best. For those of us who don’t like greasy skin, we may not like how glycerine packed moisturizers look and feel.

This is why you will notice that most moisturizers with glycerine in them will be accompanied by emollients, which improve how the moisturizer applies, as well as how it feels on your skin.

Other Benefits

Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia also say that glycerine helps skin cells mature properly by signaling them through their 4 stages of normal development. The researchers are working on determining if glycerine will help to heal skin diseases, such as psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers. These diseases result from abnormal maturation of skin cells, so it actually makes sense that if glycerine encourages skin cells to mature properly, it could very well have an effect on diseased skin. These researchers have also hypothesized that glycerine may augment wound-healing.

So, along with the negatives, there are amazing positives that glycerine offers. As always, it is up to you whether or not you want to incorporate products with glycerine in them into your skincare routine or not.

Some of my fave moisturizers right now with glycerine in them are:

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Night Cream

a.k.a. Instant Beauty Sleep in a Cream. Now, typically, I wouldn’t even recommend a product that is $145 for 50mL, but a teency weency bit goes long way, and it really does leave your face smoother, more moisturized, and you will notice your skin tone evening out over time, as well.

Jan Marini’s Transformation Face Cream

This is a lot smaller container. You get one ounce for $105. I felt that it worked quite similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Night Cream, but this cream is white in color with a cream-like consistency, whereas the Charlotte Tilbury is a transparent yellowy Vaseline-type consistency. Both feel a bit greasy and tacky on the skin, although when I use the Charlotte Tilbury, my skin feels like I just rubbed Vaseline all over it, but if you can stand it, the results of both are definitely worth it! FYI, the label at the beginning of this blog post belongs to this product:

What are your thoughts on glycerine? Do you use any products that you love with glycerine in them? Let me know in the comments below!




3 thoughts on “Glycerine & Skin – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly?

      1. Haha, that’s funny! Autocorrect for the win! Yes, glycerine is an awesome thing. I love it!


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