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Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a simple polyol compound widely used in dermatology due to its excellent moisturizing properties.

Glycerin's excellent hydrating properties, combined with its ability to soothe and improve skin barrier function, make it a highly valued ingredient in the treatment and management of various dermatological conditions, particularly those involving dryness and compromised skin barrier.

Physiological effects of Glycerin
  1. Hydration: Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts water to the skin. It draws moisture from the environment and the deeper layers of the skin to the outer layer (stratum corneum), improving hydration.
  2. Skin Barrier Function: By enhancing skin hydration, glycerin helps to maintain and improve the skin's barrier function, protecting against irritants and reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
  3. Soothing Effect: It has a soothing effect on the skin, which can be beneficial in reducing irritation and discomfort in various skin conditions.
  4. Elasticity and Resilience: Glycerin can improve skin elasticity and resilience, making the skin appear healthier and more supple.
  5. Wound Healing: Some studies suggest glycerin may play a role in accelerating wound healing processes and improving skin repair.
Role in Managing Dermatological Conditions
  1. Dry Skin Conditions (Xerosis): Glycerin is a key ingredient in many moisturizers and is highly effective in managing dry skin by providing deep hydration.
  2. Eczema and Dermatitis: Its moisturizing and soothing properties help in relieving the symptoms of eczema and dermatitis, such as dryness, itching, and irritation.
  3. Psoriasis: Glycerin can aid in reducing the dryness and scaling associated with psoriasis.
  4. Aging Skin: It is beneficial in anti-aging products due to its ability to hydrate the skin and improve its elasticity.
  5. Wound Care: Glycerin-based products may be used in the care of minor wounds and burns due to its potential role in enhancing wound healing.
  • Fluhr, J. W., Darlenski, R., & Surber, C. (2008). Glycerol and the skin: holistic approach to its origin and functions. British Journal of Dermatology.
  • Harding, C. R. (2004). The stratum corneum: structure and function in health and disease. Dermatologic Therapy.
  • Lodén, M. (2005). Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology.