The Underrated Skincare Ingredient Literally Everyone Can Benefit From Using

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In the world of skin care, it kind of makes me sad how sexy ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C get all the attention.

Yes, seeing these ingredients on product packaging has the sex appeal equivalent of David Beckham with his shirt off. But turn your favourite serum bottle around and you'll almost always find a bunch of other extremely important but not-so-sexy ingredients in the formulation, too.

These lesser-known ingredients are often essential in making sure a product actually does what it says it can. In fact, many sexy, hardcore actives wouldn’t be able to function without them.

One such undervalued ingredient is the ever humble and hardworking glycerin.

You see, glycerin has so many benefits when it comes to your skin health. And if you stalk the back of your skincare product labels, I guarantee you’ll see it sitting pretty in the ingredients lists.

While the word glycerin might sound as appealing to you as a cold burnt piece of toast, I want to give this underrated ingredient the attention it deserves.

So, let’s chat through what glycerin actually is and what it can do for your skin, and my favourite skincare products packed with glycerin.

What Is Glycerin and What Does Glycerin in Skin Care Do?

Glycerin (also referred to as glycerol) is a super hydrating humectant ingredient, which means it can attract water to itself.

Its main job is to make sure moisture stays in your skin by drawing it in from the air around you. Yes, like a sponge. This leaves your skin happy, healthy and plump.

Glycerin is also mildly microbial and is often an ingredient used to treat wounds. Hence why sensitive skin types or those prone to irritation would be doing their skin a disservice by not using it in their routine.

Plus, it’s non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) which is probably why you’ll find glycerin in a lot of products – although predominantly in moisturisers and cleansers.  

Is Glycerin Bad for Skin?

It's a common misconception that glycerin is bad for your skin. It's not true, poor glycerin!

Glycerin works hard to hydrate, soothe and restore your skin and can be used in pretty much every step of your skincare routine. It's even added to some high-performance serum formulations like vitamin A products to soften the blow, so to speak. (Look out for it if vitamin A leaves your skin looking red or inflamed.)

However, glycerin is most amazing in cleansers because it prevents that stripped, dry or irritated feeling, and in moisturisers because of its ability to lock in moisture.

Oh, and glycerin can benefit all skin types. Yes, all of them. Although it will work especially well for any skin types that are dry/cracked.

Best Skincare Products with Glycerin.

Now you know what glycerin is, what it does for the skin and why it's severely underrated, here are four of my favourite glycerin-filled skincare products for happy and hydrated skin.

1. SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Emulsion.

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 EmulsionSkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Emulsion

What: SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Emulsion - A lightweight hydration cocktail to target the early signs of photoaging like dullness, discolouration, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.

Why it's so damn good:

You know that calming feeling you get when someone plays with your hair? This moisturiser feels like that.

The glycerin component is big at almost 15 per cent, but it’s also formulated with niacinamide (vitamin B3) to soothe and brighten the skin, and work away at pigmentation. The product is extremely lightweight = perfect for use during summer, or for dehydrated oily skin types.

2. The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HAThe Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

What: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA - An affordable moisturiser packed with glycerin and other hydrating ingredients like amino and fatty acids, urea, ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Why it's so damn good:

Look, not everybody wants to spend a gazillion dollars on a moisturiser and I get that. This is where brands like The Ordinary come in.

This moisturiser is light on the skin, sinks in well, isn’t oily or greasy, and works well for the price tag. Bonus: it has no fragrance, so if you have sensitive skin or are averse to fragrance in your skin care, I’d try this.

3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-CleanserLa Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser

What: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser - A glycerin-filled milky cleanser that won't strip your skin in the slightest.  

Why it's so damn good: 

This cleanser is so good for your skin, using it will give you the same smug feeling you get after eating a healthy meal.

Honestly though, this milky cleanser is the perfect product to wash your face with in the morning, or to use as your second cleanse if your skin has been playing up or is feeling sensitive and dry. It's light, gentle and hydrating. Impaired skin barriers rejoice!

4. Aspect Eyelift 3.

3Aspect Eyelift 33Aspect Eyelift 3

What: Aspect Eyelift 3 - The best-selling hydrating eye cream for all of your eye concerns (think dark circles, puffiness, crow's feet and fine lines).

Why it's so damn good:

Your 80-year-old self will thank you for using this eye cream. The formula is super lush and hydrating, but I love it because you can use it morning and/or night, which makes your skincare routine less confusing.

It really does work hard to plump up your eye area with a mix of hydrating ingredients and brightening botanicals and antioxidants. I promise, using this product preventatively now is a very good idea.

And that's everything you need to know about glycerin, an oldie but a goodie.

P.S. You can learn more about how to find the best moisturiser for your skin type in our Youtube video.

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