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Friday, December 23, 2016

Ingredient highlight: Glycerin—hydration booster

Glycerin is an important ingredient to look for in your skin care products—especially for those of you with true-dry (oil-dry) skin.

Glycerin is a humectant, attracting moisture to itself; it has emollient properties, meaning it helps to make the skin feel smooth; it has a binding action, which helps to hold a cream together; and it is an excellent moisturizer. If you look at the ingredients in your skin care products (mostly moisturizers) you will no doubt see glycerin as one of the main ingredients.

My toner lists glycerin as one of the first ingredients. Is this a good thing for me to be using?

The answer to this question is it depends. Glycerin is an excellent ingredient in a toner for dry (true-dry) skin—skin that doesn’t produce enough oil on its own. I have found, however, that glycerin in a toner for normal to oily skin can be too much for this skin type. And although this seems to hold true for toners, glycerin is not necessarily too much for oilier skins if it is in a moisturizer. It really depends on the product and where the glycerin is on the ingredient list.

I say this based on Yonka-Paris toners, which are from the product line I use (and have since 1985). Their toner for true-dry skin has glycerin in its ingredient list. In their toner for normal to oily skin types, it is not. I have found that if a client mistakenly purchases the dry-skin toner when they actually have normal to oily or oily skin, they will almost always experience breakout. The contributing factor between these two toners is glycerin.

Interestingly, when you use a moisturizing cream with glycerin in it, no matter your skin type, it is doubtful you will have issues with it. I also recommend pure glycerin or glycerin-based elixirs added to your creams to help with hydrating skin, even oilier skin. But in general, glycerin makes a good ingredient for normal or normal to dry skin types.

Hydration boosters. I like to apply hydration boosters to help with the dehydration that inevitably occurs from the indoor heat and the cold wind of winter. I purchased a bottle of glycerin at my local grocery store—in fact, it was the store’s own brand. Although I have more expensive glycerin products, I wanted to experiment and see if I could use this store brand with the same results. I will say that although the less expensive glycerin product worked just fine, it didnt have all the wonderful aromatics (as well as beneficial surrounding ingredients) as my Yonka product: Hydralia (see information below).

In the winter, when your skin is feeling drier, I recommend applying a glycerin hydration booster to your skin by mixing it in with your moisturizer. If it is an exceptionally cold day or series of days and adding glycerin to your creams doesn
t feel like its giving you enough added moisture, you could try applying glycerin straight to your skinenough to cover your entire face and neck after cleansingthen spray on your toner, and apply moisturizer. If you have true-dry skin, you can add more glycerin in with your moisturizer. 

Many clients ask when they should use this type of product, and I always say their skin will give them all the information they need. If you feel dehydrated (dried out)include a glycerin elixir. If your skin feels perfectly hydrated without itskip that step. Once the weather starts to warm up, your skin will tell you its time to stop using the added glycerin.

For more information, see: