Benefits Of Glycerin For Oily Skin
1. It Has An Anti-Aging Effect
Now that can get anyone excited about a product! Glycerin (or Glycerol) is a key ingredient in anti-aging products, thanks to its moisturizing properties. Lack of moisture affects the protease activity in your skin, leading to skin peeling and accelerating skin aging. Glycerin attracts moisture from the environment and increases the moisture content of your skin – and this slows down the aging process (1).
2. It Is Anti-Irritant
Glycerin is extremely gentle on the skin. As it is a plant-based substance, it is widely used for treating skin irritation, rashes, and itches. A study conducted on hairless mice found that glycerol could cure skin irritation induced by Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, or SLS, (an active ingredient in many beauty products) and repaired the skin barrier with its anti-inflammatory properties (2).
It can even soothe irritation caused by other skin issues, such as psoriasis and eczema.
3. Glycerin Improves Skin Permeability
Dehydrated skin (due to lack of moisture in your skin or dry weather) can lose its permeability. However, applying glycerin can reverse this, thereby maintaining your skin absorption levels (3).
4. It Promotes Cell Maturation
A study shows that glycerin rejuvenates the skin by promoting skin cell maturation. Your skin sheds numerous cells and produces younger cells to replace them. The top layer of your skin contains the mature cells that produce lipids that form the protective barrier on your skin. Glycerin helps the young cells mature and move up to the surface before they are eventually shed (4). If this process is interrupted, your skin will look dull and dry.
5. It Gives You Smoother Skin
Applying glycerin will give you smoother looking skin without making it greasy or oily. Glycerin is a humectant – it draws moisture from the environment to keep your skin hydrated and smooth.
6. It Improves Skin Elasticity
Excessive exposure to UV rays can deplete collagen levels in the skin and lead to significant skin damage. A study conducted in 2014 found that glycerin, along with other compounds, could maintain the skin’s elasticity levels and keep it youthful (5).
7. It Helps In Wound Healing And Infection Control
Solutions with 85% glycerin content have bactericidal and antiviral effects, facilitating fast wound healing. A study found that the application of glycerin on wounds effectively reduced inflammation. Moreover, glycerin-based products were also found to be antimicrobial (6).
8. It Is An Excellent Toner For Oily Skin
Glycerin can also be used as a toner for oily skin. It is non-greasy, and hence, it can keep your skin toned and hydrated without triggering excessive sebum production.
9. It Can Be Used As A Cleanser
Oily skinned people are prone to acne and breakouts. Since glycerin has a neutral effect on your skin, you can easily use glycerin-based products to keep your skin clean and remove all traces of impurities without making it look excessively dry and stretchy.
10. It Prevents Photoaging
Glycerin is a common ingredient in most of the commercially available sunscreens as it helps prevent the extensive damage otherwise caused by the UV rays (7). Regular application of such a sunscreen also improves uneven skin tone caused by sun exposure.
Now you know why glycerin is a must-have in your beauty arsenal. While you can always buy beauty products containing glycerin, you can even use it as a separate ingredient for any DIY remedies. And if you want to avoid putting any other chemicals on your skin, glycerin is the best bet. I will tell you how.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD