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Let’s Bust Some Myths About Glycerin in Skincare

By Faith Cummings, she/her

Glycerin is one of the unsung heroes of skincare. It boosts a product’s efficacy at every turn and works incredibly hard with very little fanfare. Its benefits are plentiful and no matter how it’s derived—whether from animal sources, vegetable sources, or synthetically—it pulls moisture from the air in our surroundings and helps to attract that hydration to our skin. (Don’t worry, Youth To The People will never source glycerin from animal sources—we are 100% vegan).

“Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts water, helping to keep the skin hydrated,” says Youth To The People's Regional Sales + Education Executive, Dee Leung. “When your skin is hydrated, fine lines are plumped and therefore less noticeable. Additionally, glycerin supports the protective moisture barrier, helping to protect skin from outside irritants. The result is smoother, supple skin.” 

Glycerin is also used in many skincare formulations because it assists in the absorption of other beneficial ingredients. But something used so well and soo widely definitely comes with the requisite myths and misconceptions. Here, with Leung’s help, let’s break down a couple glycerin myths that you should know.

Myth: Glycerin is a soap.

Fact: “Glycerin is used in soap formulas, but glycerin qualifies as a humectant,” says Leung.

Myth: Glycerin clogs pores.

Fact: “Glycerin is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores,” Leung says. “In fact, the hydrating benefits will support pore health.”

Here’s how to incorporate glycerin into your routine in product form:

In a purifying mask: 

“Traditional clay masks rob the skin of moisture while attempting to detoxify the skin,” Leung says. “But the Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask is all about balance. The triple clays deep clean, detoxify, and remove impurities while the glycerin in this formula maintains moisture to prevent overly drying the skin.”

In a moisturizing cream: 

Fact: Conditioning is not just for your hair. The Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream helps condition and restore your skin and is a must-have for summer when you want to lock in that moisture with the help of glycerin, all while keeping all your products light, making it perfect for us in the heat and humidity.

In a soothing mist: 

Summer is upon us, and this is the perfect product to keep in your bag on the go. Ultra-fine with soothing peptides and calming properties, you can spray the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist on your skin as many times per day as you wish to stay hydrated and boost the efficacy of your moisturizer and serum. In it you’ll find moisturizing glycerin.

In a dreamy eye cream: 

The Superberry Dream Eye Cream, formulated with glycerin, works its magic overnight, firming the look of your skin and hydrating while you slumber.

In a nourishing cleanser: 

Gentle enough to use every day, the Superfood Cleanser is brimming with cold-pressed antioxidants like green tea, kale, and spinach (and glycerin!) for a cleanse that boosts your skin health with every use.

In an exfoliating toner: 

If you’ve been wanting to get into the AHA game, the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner is for you. This exfoliating toner is formulated with AHAs, skin microbiome boosting kombucha, and glycerin.

In an energizing serum: 

To say this product wakes up your skin would be understatement. The clinical-grade 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum features clean, plant-derived caffeine from superleafs yerba mate and guayusa which, along with glycerin, hydrate the skin and boost your complexion.

In an at-home facial: 

If you can’t get in for a facial at one of your favorite spas, this product allows you to recreate the magic in the comfort of your own home. The Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial is a dual-action microdermabrasion facial that will give you smoother-looking, more invigorated skin in just two minutes. In it? You guessed it: glycerin.

Written by Faith Cummings for Youth To The People