Parched, dry skin is basically a given during the colder months, but this concern can pop up at any time of the year. So when your face, hands, and other spots feel a bit tight or chapped, it’s time to break out the hydrating big guns: the best glycerin products for skin.
Wait… not hyaluronic acid?, you may be thinking. Though that skin-care heavyweight is often touted as the skin-care equivalent of a glass of water for your pores, glycerin is another highly effective moisturizing agent that’s not one to miss.
New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., previously told Allure that moisturizing products typically contain three types of ingredients: occlusives, emollients, and humectants. Like its trendy counterpart, hyaluronic acid, glycerin falls in the latter category, and both hydrate skin by attracting water to themselves like a skin-care magnet.
“Glycerin is like a sponge that pulls water to the outer skin layer,” Dr. Zeichner explained. “It can attract water from the deeper layers or even the air in humid environments.”
Because glycerin attracts water to itself, using glycerin-enhanced products can leave your skin with an “overall moisturized and smoothed effect,” according to Erin Gilbert, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. In short, it’s one of the most hydrating skin-care ingredients out there.
Glycerin is also especially effective on your most stubborn rough spots, like calluses. “Glycerin can actually signal your superficial skin cells to mature more rapidly,” Dr. Gilbert says. This speeds up cellular turnover, allowing your skin to shed dead and damaged surface cells at a faster rate. Translation: It’s a fast track to soft skin.
Now that you’ve gotten the lowdown on glycerin’s moisturizing properties, it’s time to put your knowledge to use. Below are just a few of the many skin-care products that feature this hydrating hero — check them out, and be prepared for your dewiest, smoothest skin yet.