Most modern face, hand and body creams today contain glycerin. The opinions of cosmetologists and cosmeceutists about the benefits and harms of this product today are divided into two camps. Some warn about the serious dangers of glycerin, others advocate its use, citing the excellent moisturizing properties of this ingredient.
What is glycerin
Glycerin is a colorless viscous liquid, sweetish in taste, which is obtained by chemical synthesis based on vegetable oils or animal fats. From a chemical point of view, glycerin is a polyhydric alcohol, the type of its formula is HOCH2-CH (OH) -CH2OH.
Vegetable glycerin is usually made from coconut or palm oils. It is he who is used to add to creams, soaps and shower gels.
In the food industry, pure glycerin is used as an emulsifier and taste stabilizer, its designation is E422, it is considered safe and hypoallergenic.
The chemical structure of glycerin ensures its increased penetration into human skin, which is the reason for the main cosmetic property of this ingredient - to deeply moisturize the skin and prevent further removal of moisture.
So what, then, is the harmfulness of such a seemingly useful glycerin, which is also extracted from natural "sources"?
Why is glycerin harmful to the skin?
The problem is that glycerin is actually able to draw moisture from the surrounding air and deliver it to the deeper layers of the skin. However, cosmetics manufacturers are silent about the fact that this process is possible only at a relative humidity of at least 65%, and this level of humidity is not maintained in all regions of Russia and not always. Particularly low air humidity is observed in most of the country in summer, as well as in houses and apartments during the heating season.
Glycerin, in addition to actually deep penetration into the skin, is able to absorb moisture from the surrounding air in order to further transport it deep into the skin. However, this is possible when the air humidity is at least 65%.
What happens to the properties of glycerin if the air humidity is below 65%? And these properties do not particularly change - the cosmetic ingredient continues to "draw" moisture from the environment to the place of its own dislocation. Only, since there is now nothing to extract from the air, then glycerin "raises" the liquid from the lower layers of the skin into the epidermis, thereby ultimately provoking serious dehydration of the skin of the face, hands and body, its premature aging.
Thus, only residents of the tropics, the subequator and the equator, where the necessary humidity level for the harmless "work" of glycerin in creams, can be considered 100% harmless glycerin.