There are some skincare ingredients that work extra hard for your skin, but don’t get the recognition they deserve. Glycerin is one of those ingredients. Infused into a slew of face creams and body lotions for its amazing ability to bind moisture, Glycerin is one of the most ubiquitous skincare ingredients, yet also the most overlooked. “Glycerin is a humectant like Hyaluronic Acid, but it’s never praised in the same way,” says Rocky Graziose, Origins Advanced Technology team. “It’s kind of like a supporting actor who’s not quite the star, but the movie wouldn’t be a success without them.” As one of the key ingredients in our new Checks And Balances™ Milky Oil Cleanser + Makeup Melter, we’re giving this backstage ingredient its moment in the spotlight. From what it is to how it improves the health of your skin, here’s everything you need to know about Glycerin.

What is Glycerin?

Glycerin is a naturally occurring component in your body. It’s part of your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF), which is a combination of water-soluble compounds—like amino acids, sugars, minerals, and salts—that help keep your skin soft, smooth and hydrated. The natural aging process depletes NMFs like Glycerin from your body, but using it topically is helpful at any age, which explains why you’ll find it added to face creams and body lotions, among others. Glycerin in skincare is a clear, odorless, buttery-like liquid that is often sourced from plant oils, like palm and rapeseed.

What does Glycerin do for skin?

Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. “Think of it like a sponge. It pulls in moisture and then locks the moisture in, so skin can become more hydrated,” says Rocky. Glycerin also has a low molecular weight so it’s able to penetrate the top layers of skin and it’s non-comedogenic (despite its buttery texture) so it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it’s an ace at helping to prevent moisture loss and protect your skin’s all-important barrier.

What are the benefits of Glycerin in skincare?

Helps Boosts Hydration
Since Glycerin is a humectant, when used in skincare it binds moisture to skin to help boost hydration levels. “Humectants are incredible ingredients because they attract and absorb moisture from the deeper layers of your skin and can also pull moisture from the air to help improve skin hydration,” says Kristine Schmalenberg, Origins Clinical and Scientific Affairs. And when skin is hydrated, it appears plump, dewy and more radiant (thank you, Glycerin).

Improves Skin Barrier Function
The health of your skin barrier—aka your moisture barrier—is essential for soft, smooth, radiant skin. When your skin barrier functions properly, it keeps moisture in and pollutants out. When it’s compromised, moisture seeps out and skin-damaging pollutants slip in. But, here’s where Glycerin shines: it helps keep your skin barrier moisturized, which over time, can make it stronger and more resilient.

Reinforces Skin’s NMF
Your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors are an important factor in skin hydration. Of course, your NMF depletes with age, but it can also decrease due to the overuse of moisture-stripping skincare products. Glycerin’s hydrating properties can support your skin’s NMF, which boosts moisture, so skin looks and feels soft, smooth and supple.

What Origins products contain Glycerin?

Glycerin makes an appearance in many of our Origins skincare products and is one of the key ingredients in our new Checks And Balances™ Milky Oil Cleanser + Makeup Melter. Here are just a few of our best-sellers formulated with Glycerin:
milky oil cleanser

Checks And Balances™ Milky Oil Cleanser + Makeup Melter

is an innovative, oil-to-milk transformative cleanser that removes makeup, oil and other impurities without stripping or drying skin. Ingredients like Almond Oil and Rice Oil help dissolve impurities and makeup and hydrate, while Squalane and Glycerin help preserve moisture for comfortably clean skin.
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ginzing gel cream

GinZing™ Energizing Gel Cream

boosts radiance and fights fatigued-looking skin with the help of Vitamin C, Ginseng and Caffeine from Coffee Beans. This glow-boosting formula enlists the help of Glycerin helps to lock in moisture for an improved barrier and refreshing hydration.
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ginzing ultra moisturizer

GinZing™ Ultra Hydrating Energy-Boosting Cream

is a super-rich moisturizer that wakes up tired-looking skin with instant radiance and 72-hour hydration. Glycerin works in tandem with superstar ingredients like Caffeine from Coffee Beans, Ginseng and Niacinamide to lock in moisture for long-lasting comfort.
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What else you need to know about Glycerin

Glycerin is one of the most trusted ingredients in skincare. Not only are its humectant properties beneficial to locking in essential moisture, but it’s skin-friendly for all skin types, too. All-in-all, Glycerin is an ingredient well-worthy of its moment in the spotlight, and in our some of our most beloved formulas.


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