What is glycerin?
Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. It can be created from plants or animal fat. Here’s the difference:
It’s a natural byproduct of the soap making process (soap made with animal fat). Commercial manufacturers remove the glycerine for use in lotions and creams. While glycerin can be made as a by-product of soap that is made from animal fats, it can also be made from plants.
Vegetable glycerin is made from the oils and fats of a plant-based ingredient, generally coconut or palm oil. The oil is heated to a high temperature under pressure with water. The glycerin component is then separated from the plant oil and absorbed by the water – it is then isolated and distilled.
So what is glycerin REALLY?
It’s highly hygroscopic– meaning that its qualities allow it to absorb water from the atmosphere.
Example: if you left a bottle of pure glycerin exposed to air, it would take moisture from the air and eventually, it would become 80% glycerin and 20% water.
I once mixed unrefined Shea Butter with glycerin and noticed drops of water on my mix. It was the craziest observation ever … glycerin is absolutely fascinating.
What are the benefits to hair?
As a product that draws moisture from the air, it’s a great moisturiser! It is used as a base in a lot of good hair moisturisers and aims to soften the hair follicles, allowing moisture to enter into the hair shaft.
As a conditioner, it’s especially beneficial for curly/kinky hair, which tends to be drier due to the shape of the hair shaft.
It’s one of those ‘must have’ ingredients if you’re on a healthy hair journey. Use it as a base to your hair spritz or mixtures.
NOTE: I would advise against coating your hair with pure glycerin as it will result in very sticky hair. If it’s used sparingly or in a mixture, it will moisturise your hair effectively.
FIVE more ways to use glycerin every day!
1. Add a small amount in your normal moisturiser to add that extra nourishing punch to your skin.
2. Mix it with raw Shea Butter and use as a lip balm. My lips LOVE this mixture.
3. Mix a spray of half water and half glycerin. Lightly spray on hair for added moisture and frizz control.
4. Add a small amount to your hand creme, it will boost the moisture content
5. Check for it in your shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser as one of the main ingredients.