After taking a good look at your favorite cosmetic products at home, you may have noticed a common ingredient that constantly pops up in every label: glycerin.
There has been a lot of debate lately whether or not manufacturers should still continue to use the said ingredient. With that said, a search for glycerin substitute is currently in place.
Although proven to be quite effective in skin care uses, the process of production in obtaining glycerin is in question. Individuals and organizations who advocate a more vegan approach to cosmetics are looking into other vegan-friendly materials as a glycerin substitute.
If you’re interested, plant-derived glycerin also exists. However, there is reason to believe that most glycerin used in cosmetic products come from animals - particularly from animal tallow, a common source for animal-derived glycerin.
This may not be a serious problem for non-vegans. However, as more and more companies are diverting into more vegan-friendly options, we should also start paying closer attention to what we are using for our bodies.
Glycerin can also be synthetically produced. This type of glycerin is proven to be quite harmful for the skin, compared to the animal-derived or plant-derived glycerin.
The tedious and chemical inducing process of creating synthetic glycerin is obviously not natural as well.
According to some people, they have reported irritation from using products with synthetic glycerin. In extreme cases, a tingling and burning sensation was also felt. Others have also said that their skin became soggy or dry after usage.
Aside from production being deemed as unethical for a specific group of people, there are also many individuals out there who are allergic to glycerin.
Although very safe for topical use, some people cannot tolerate the effects of glycerin on their skin. Some people may even show signs of skin redness, itchiness, formation of painful bumps and a burning sensation.
Glycerin has been used in cosmetics for quite a long time. Because of the many benefits it offers, it’s no wonder why companies still prefer to use this ingredient. In fact, glycerin in cosmetic products has no severe side effects of usage at all.
But of course, there is a bit of a caution. As they say, too much of a good thing is bad. Pure glycerin can become very harmful to the skin when used alone.
Now that we have some reasons as to why glycerin needs to be replaced, let’s take a look at why this ingredient is very popular in the first place:
- 1. Glycerin is a humectant that absorbs water from the air and onto the skin. This means that your skin would be feeling moisturized than without a glycerin cosmetic product.
- 2. It creates a protective layer on your skin to prevent moisture loss as well.
- 3. Glycerin makes your skin feels soft and smooth to the touch.
- 4. When mixed with oils rich in vitamin E such as almond oil, glycerin is proven to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and helps keep your skin looking youthful.
- 5. It can cure acne and scars faster than other types of products.
- 6. When used on your hair, glycerin can also cure dandruff and can also lock moisture into your hair, getting rid of dry hair.
With all the benefits listed above, is there really another alternative to glycerin? The answer is yes. And more often than not, these substitutes are also all natural. Try replacing your glycerin containing products for these options instead.
Unsurprisingly, coconut oil makes it into the list of glycerin substitutes. If there is one natural ingredient that can do it all, that would be coconut oil. It is very safe for both topical use and consumption and is proven to provide tons of health benefits.
In terms of replacing glycerin, coconut oil is rich in natural vitamins that promote overall healthy skin.
It is also capable of moisturizing and healing redness and irritation of the skin. Plus, it is very easy to find and easily accessible in any local market.
Sodium lactate is another name that may sound familiar after reading cosmetic product labels.
It is perhaps the closest thing to glycerin when it comes to making your skin feel moisturized and supple.
But compared to glycerin, sodium lactate does not leave you feeling sticky.
If you are considering creating your own cosmetic products, or simply on the lookout for ones that are already available in the market, sodium lactate may be the most common theme for glycerin substitutes.
Looking to try something new? Try Honeyquat. It’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of the name before.
Honeyquat is quite rare in common commercial products. But if you have some time, take a trip to a natural cosmetics shop and you might see it on some labels.
Honeyquat, as the name would suggest, is made from honey. It is a water soluble conditioning agent. And according to research, it has moisturizing capabilities better than glycerin.
Another unpopular name in common cosmetics is Vegemoist, or Glycine Betaine.
It is essentially a beet sugar extract that is safe for topical use, consumption and definitely worth trying in substituting glycerin.
Instead of absorbing moisture from the air like glycerin, Vegemoist actually adds hydration onto your skin. This means that it does not dry up your the water from within your skin onto the top layer like what glycerin does.
With that said, Vegemoist does not have a drying effect on your skin even after use.
At the end of the day, you have to understand the needs of your skin. Even though glycerin or its substitutes seem like a great product to use, you need to first assess and understand your skin better.
As always, your skin is not the same as others so don’t be disappointed if a product or method is not working out for you. There are plenty of options out there to try out.
What is your opinion on glycerin? Should we still continue to use it? If not, which products have you been using to fill in the advantages we can get from a glycerin containing product? Leave your answers on the comments below and let’s discuss together with other readers!