Glycerin: THE Moisturizing Ingredient For Dry Skin
Do you have dry skin? I do. And because of my skin I am always in search of moisture for it. Trying to quench the ever present dryness that exists especially in the wretchedness of winter. Spring and summer are on the way but they are not here yet and even so, our skin can only get so much better. Dry skin is a year round affliction for many of us. So what are those of use who are afflicted to do?
Well, the first thing you thing of when you think of dry skin is a humectant. Humectants are products that attract water to themselves, thus they attract water to the skin. If you talk to anyone, when they think first think of humectants that are good for skin, the first thing that comes to mind is hyaluronic acid (HA). And dermatologists will often recommend HA over any other humectants because it plumps up the epidermis quickly and easily. However, there is one ingredient that is less expensive, more plentiful and that actually penetrates deeper into the layers of the skin and that ingredient is glycerin. When thinking of a humectant that helps moisturize dry or dehydrated skin, think of glycerin. If you happen to have dry skin, look at your skincare products and their ingredient lists. Chances are glycerin will be the second or third ingredient on the list. If it isn't, you are likely using the wrong product for your skin type. Ingredients are listed in the order of percentage up to 1%, then they can be listed in any order the cosmetic manufacturer wants.
Ask any cosmetic chemist and they will recommend glycerin as a humectant over hyaluronic acid anyday. It is more plentiful and less expensive to make than hyaluronic acid. Yes hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, but it only penetrates the epidermis. Depending on the weights of the molecule it can only penetrate as far down as the lowest layer of the epidermis, the basal layer. The skin has three layers: the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer known as the hypodermis (see below) which is the adipose tissue. Glycerin has a smaller molecule and can actually penetrate deeper, thus it goes all the way down into the dermis, plumping up the skin better and in a less expensive way. This is why it is a common ingredient in skin creams and why you might find it in some serums as opposed to hyaluronic acid.
You will find that dermatologists often recommend hyaluronic acid over other ingredients, and why is that? That is because they are marketed to by skincare companies not because of any education they receive. Dermatologists do not receive any skincare education in medical school. Everything they learn comes from skincare companies that market their products and from trial and error. For true skincare advice, you are better going to an Esthetician or a cosmetic chemist for ingredient advice. That is one reason I have taken the time to really learn more about ingredients and what they do. I want to know what everything is, its function on the skin and how it works better for you the consumer.
Now that we have established that glycerin is better for your dry skin than hyaluronic acid, however you can still use HA, it has its uses. Hyaluronic acid moisturizes the outer layer of the skin and plumps up the tissues, leaving fine lines and wrinkles looking less visible and skin looking more glowy and dewy. However, glycerin will leave skin feeling more hydrated and more moisturized. The difference is profound. When used in any product, say a cleanser, essence or moisturizer, glycerin will make your skin feel like silk.
PRODUCTS WITH GLYCERIN:
What are some great products with glycerin in them that I would recommend? I happen to have dry skin so I can recommend a few. As for a cleanser, I would recommend CeraVe's Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser (https://bit.ly/2Wd1ACb), which has glycerin as the second ingredient. As for an essence, I really love Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence (https://bit.ly/3s1GJj1). This essence is packed full of glycerin, other humectants, two forms of hyaluronic acid and collagen. It is truly wonderful. I use it twice a day for plump skin. Watch out though, it's very slippery from all of the glycerin! As for a serum, there are so many to choose from but I happen to love Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate (https://bit.ly/33zm8sS). It contains 15% glycerin. I think they reformulated the serum since I did my review, but it is essentially the same thing, just with a higher price tag. Now, any moisturizer for dry skin is likely going to have glycerin as the second ingredient. It is plentiful, inexpensive and will make skin feel soft and plump. OLAY honestly makes some of the best and least inexpensive moisturizers for dry skin on the market. I adore their Regenerist Collagen Peptide Hydrating Moisturizer (https://bit.ly/3832lTK) and Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream (https://bit.ly/33BGz8g) is full of glycerin and ceramides to replenish the natural moisture barrier. That is one thing you cannot compromise on. Take care of your natural moisture barrier, as it functions to protect your skin.
Now that you know what glycerin is going to do for you, take advantage of it. Seek out glycerin in every product you can find. Do not be afraid of looking at ingredients' lists. Be informed. Don't ignore hyaluronic acid either, it has its place too. But for us dry skinned people glycerin will always be the humectant of choice. Go forth and moisturize!
Until Next Time~
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