Tap to Read ➤

Vegetable Glycerin Uses

From cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, vegetable glycerin has numerous benefits. This Story gives you various uses of this amazing natural resource.
Megha Tiwari
What is glycerin? The word 'glycerin' is derived from the Greek word glykys which means 'sweet'. Glycerin is odorless and colorless, viscous and non-toxic, and has a very sweet taste. It is also a natural ingredient of oil and fats. During the process of digestion in the human body, fat is broken down into two components, glycerin and fatty acids. This proves that glycerin does not harm the body in any way and is good to consume.
But there is a difference between the glycerin produced by the body and vegetable glycerin. The latter is extracted through a process known as hydrolysis, which is a very advanced and complex procedure. Before we move on to the uses, let us first understand how do we obtain this product?
Addition of stevia extract can make glycerin sweet, but it is strictly not recommended for diabetic patients as it might raise their sugar levels. Though glycerin is a carbohydrate, it acts differently as compared to other carbohydrates. How? Well, unlike other carbohydrates in our body, it has negligible effect on the blood sugar levels.
So, here is another reason as to why you should opt for using this product. The shelf life of this extract is calculated to be five years but make sure that you store this product in a cool and dark place, because it reacts when exposed to light.

What is Vegetable Glycerin?

Similar to the human body, even plants contain glycerin, which is extracted through a complex process wherein the raw ingredients like coconut and palm oil are broken down into fat and oil, and the end product of this method is nothing else but the glycerin. In other words, glycerin is a by-product of the process of oil production.
The pressure, temperature and water, act together to give this by-product. The extraction process involves a temperature which is more than 400ºC, which is maintained for almost half an hour along with a strong pressure. The whole process works on the concept of counter-flow during the phase of oil production.
Glycerol is absorbed by the water in this phase and later on it is isolated and distilled to get the final product, glycerin, that is 99% pure and standard. The properties are the same as natural glycerin, i.e., it is colorless, odorless, sweet in taste, and has a thick syrup-like consistency. Vegetable glycerin is commonly known as glycerol.

Most Common Uses

In the process of soap making, it is used as a by-product. It is a humectant, which means it attracts water, and because of this property, it acts as a natural remedy for various skin as well as hair problems. Following are some popular uses.

For Hair

● It maintains the required moisture in the hair by extracting moisture from the air and supplying it to the hair shaft.
● To stay away from frizz in curly hair, regular application would be beneficial as it does not allow the hair to dry and tangle.
You can use hydrated glycerin spray for a quick moisturizer by mixing vegetable glycerin, water, and essential oil of your choice, and apply it to have smooth hair. Glycerin for hair is really amazing.

For Skin

Even dermatologists have accepted the amazing uses for skin. Also note that glycerin soap can be used as a moisturizer that makes the skin smooth and soft.
Studies have proved that it helps the skin cells to mature in a natural way.
● It maintains the health of your skin by reducing the chances of non-melanoma skin cancer and psoriasis.
It also has many healing effects. For example, it reduces bruising and allows tissues to repair naturally.

Other Uses

It is also used as an alternate preservative to alcohol, for the purpose of preserving herbal tinctures.
It is also used as a main component for manufacturing glycerites, a non-alcohol based herbal extract.
It is also used in the net carb products to retain the sweetness and moisture. This property of glycerin makes it an essential ingredient in protein bars as well as its presence allows it to remain moist and chewable.
We hope the aforementioned uses have helped you understand as to why it is used in most of the cosmetic products. There are many glycerin soap recipes on the Internet that can help you to make the soap at home and avail many of the glycerin soap benefits.