What glycerol is?
Vegetable glycerol (or glycerol) is an organic compound that occurs naturally in fats and phospholipids and is obtained as a by-product in the saponification process of fats or by hydrolysis of fats. Due to its moisturising, lubricating and emollient properties for the skin, glycerol is used in numerous dermocosmetic formulations.
Glycerine is a highly hygroscopic substance, therefore able to absorb moisture from the air, on the skin it is able to retain water, and therefore hydration, in the interstitial spaces between skin cells; it is also a good solvent for some water-soluble active ingredients found in plants.
In cosmetics, it is mainly used for its moisturising, lubricating and emollient properties for the skin.
Glycerine is well tolerated by the skin, even at high doses, but its limitation is its sticky touch, which is higher than that of glycols and increases in proportion to the concentration used in the formula. The properties of this active are:
- At low concentrations it is useful in preserving the product from dehydration.
- It has an excellent moisturising, emollient and plasticising activity on the epidermis.
- Icreases the gentleness of detergents on the skin and stabilises the foam.
- Is used as an extraction solvent for certain plant active ingredients.
Precisely because of its ability to solubilise certain plant active ingredients, glycerine is contained in glycerosomes, i.e. vesicles formed by phospholipids that encapsulate the active ingredients, improving the efficacy of the formulation by 3 to 5 times compared with formulations without it.
The Gen-Hyal catalogue includes a number of products that exploit Glycosomial technology to offer greater performance and reliability: Gen-Hyal Eyes, an eye contour serum, Gen-Hyal Extreme, a serum with Vitamin E, Gen-Hyal Urban Serum, a serum with detox and purifying active ingredients.
Fluhr J W et al Glycerol – Just a Moisturizer? Biological and Biophysical Effects Dry Skin and Moisturizers: Chemistry and Function In: Loden M, Maibach HI (Eds), Dry Skin and Moisturisers, 2nd edn. Taylor & Francis Group, Florida: 227-43