Last night, we exhibited at the Amazing Amazon life class with Omotola. It was a fun time out and one of the many gifts we gave is Glycerin.

The background to this is: we knew the target group of this class and felt Glycerin and Shampoo bar will be useful gifts. Glycerin, because we felt they must have used, read it off their skincare ingredient list or even used it while Shampoo bar was more about introducing them to something new. 

It was interesting to then find out that Glycerin wasn’t that well known. So yes, a couple of people knew what it was and can be used for. We still had a lot of people asking us what and how they will use it. And we did that happily. So letting go of assumptions., this spotlight series is coming late for good reasons. Glycerin is the raw ingredient up for discussion.

What is Glycerin:

Glycerin/Glycerine/Glycerol – meaning the same, is a sugar-alcohol compound) is an organic compound composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. It’s a thick (viscous), colorless and odorless liquid. It’s water-soluble, sweet to taste and is non-toxic.
Glycerin is one of the good excuse of using handcrafted cold process soap. It exists in two types. One is the Synthetic Glycerin, the other Vegetable Glycerin and they are both great. Truth is none is superior to the other.

Synthetic Glycerin is derived during soap making. Both animal and vegetable fats/oils already contain glycerin as part of their chemical makeup to about 7% - 13%. During soap making, when the fats and lye interact, soap is formed, and the glycerin is left out as a "byproduct". But, while it's chemically separate, it's still blended into the soap mix. This glycerin when extracted out is the Synthetic glycerin.

Vegetable Glycerin is produced using an extraction process called hydrolysis. During hydrolysis, oils are placed under the combined force of pressure, temperature, and water. The ester bond breaks and causes the glycerin to split from fatty acids and be absorbed by water; at which point the resultant is further isolated by distillation to increase purity.

Glycerin freezes to a gummy paste and has a high boiling point. It can be dissolved into water or alcohol, but not oils. On the other hand, many things will dissolve into glycerin easier than they do into water or alcohol. So it is a good solvent.
Glycerin is also highly "hygroscopic" which means that it absorbs water from the air. Because of this hygroscopic quality, pure, 100 percent glycerin placed on the tongue may raise a blister, since it is dehydrating. Diluted with water, however, it will soften your skin. (Note: While people say this softening is the result of the glycerin attracting moisture to your skin, there is heated debate as to whether or not the glycerin has some other properties all its own which are helpful to the skin. Summed up, the current thinking is "We know glycerin softens the skin.

So here are the benefits of Glycerin:
1. It can be used as a cleanser, toner and a skin softener and moisturizer.
2. It plays an important role in cell maturation.
3. Glycerin also gives the skin a soft and supple feel, especially heals dry skin.
4. It cures oily skin problems like pimples, acne and blackhead.
5. Glycerin is non-toxic in nature, no wonder it finds way to so many uses.
6. It helps to retain the water in skin.
7. Wash your feet well and apply glycerin on your cracked heels. It works like magic in healing your cracked heels overnight.
8. It removes clogged impurities and helps in lightening skin shade.
9. Apply a coat of glycerin on your nails after removing nail paint. It prevents them from looking dried up.
10. It fill up the gaps due to the wrinkles thus makes the skin look younger.

Glycerin is super duper easy to use. It can be used raw, applied directly on skin or mixed with other beauty products.
At SemseY, we use it in our cosmetic products as a replacement for water or alcohol in out customized Toners, cleanser and moisturizers and in our tincture.
You can also purchase it as a raw ingredient from our store.

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