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Glycerin for skin: Get glass skin with this skincare ingredient

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Are you dreaming of getting Korean glass skin? If you have been keeping up with the trends, Korean glass skin is what people want. For the unversed, glass skin refers to clear and glowing skin that looks like a piece of glass. Korean skincare provides a major emphasis on healthy, moisturised skin, which is the essence of the glass skin effect. Glycerin is one ingredient that can help you get Korean glass skin. Here are some of the benefits of glycerin for getting glass-like skin and ways to use it.

What is glycerin?

Glycerine, also known as glycerol, is a moisturising ingredient that can help treat chapped lips, dry hands, and cracked heels. Using glycerin can help to enhance the moisture levels of your skin. It draws moisture from the surroundings and keeps it in your skin, making it appear healthy and velvety. According to a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, glycerol hydrates the skin, makes it supple, and restores the natural barrier of the skin to make it look healthy. Glycerin is a naturally occurring substance composed of vegetable or animal lipids. It is translucent, colourless, and odourless. It is known as glycerol, a hydrating and moisturising ingredient that absorbs water from deeper layers of the skin, according to a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Toxicology.

woman with clear skin
Glycerin can help you get rid of dry skin! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the benefits of glycerin for skin?

Here are some of the notable benefits of glycerin for the face:

1. Hydrates your skin

Glycerin acts as a humectant, which are substances that absorb moisture from your skin’s deeper layers and the environment to keep your face smooth and beautiful. According to a 2022 study published in the Scientific Reports, researchers tested different ways to measure how well glycerin solution holds moisture. They found that the more glycerin there was in the solution, the better it was at maintaining moisture. It also prevents dryness, flakiness, and fine wrinkles which occur due to dehydration.

2. Boosts barrier

Healthy skin is all about having a strong barrier. Glycerin strengthens this barrier by increasing the production of crucial lipids and proteins. This protects your face from irritants and environmental damage, as found in a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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3. Rich in anti-inflammatory

Do you have dry, itchy skin? Glycerin may help get rid of it. “Glycerin has anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce redness and relieve irritation, making it ideal for sensitive skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis, says Dermatologist Dr DM Mahajan.

4. Heals wounds

Are you suffering from minor cuts or scrapes? Glycerin can help in the healing process. It increases cell turnover and regeneration, allowing your skin to repair itself more effectively, as per a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

5. Rich in anti-ageing

“While glycerin would not remove wrinkles, it can help prevent them. By keeping your skin well-hydrated, it plumps it by minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, it may promote healthy skin cell function, contributing to a youthful glow, says the expert.

How to use glycerin on the face?

Here is a complete guide on how to use glycerin on the face, as explained by the expert.

1. To achieve the coveted Korean glass skin, begin with double cleansing to ensure your face is free of impurities.
2. Mix a few drops of glycerin with your toner or serum, and apply it to damp skin for maximum absorption.
3. Start with toner, then apply an essence or serum (mixed with glycerin), and finish it up with a moisturiser.
4. Mix glycerin with your sheet mask essence before applying for an extra boost.

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Things to keep in mind!

  • In the daytime, finish with sunscreen to protect your newly hydrated skin.
  • Consider using a sleeping face pack that contains glycerin to make your skin look hydrated.
  • Consistency is key in Korean skincare, so apply your glycerin-infused skincare ingredients twice daily.

Also remember, the goal is hydrated, glowing skin, not an overly greasy look, so take as much glycerin as it would suit your skin type.

DIY glycerin masks to get clear and glowing skin

DIY glycerin masks can enhance your skin’s clarity and glow. Here are some of the homemade masks to get Korean glass skin, as explained by the expert.

1. Glycerine face mask for hydrating skin


  • Glycerin
  • Rosewater
  • Aloe vera gel


  • Mix equal parts glycerin, rosewater, and aloe vera gel.
  • Apply for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it with warm water.

2. Glycerine face mask for acne-prone skin


  • Glycerine
  • Honey
  • Tea tree oil


  • Mix glycerin with honey and a few drops of tea tree oil.
  • Apply for 10-15 minutes, and then wash it off with cold water.

3. Glycerin face mask to get glowing skin


  • Glycerin
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Teaspoon of oats


  • Mix glycerin with plain yoghurt and a teaspoon of finely ground oats.
  • The lactic acid in yoghurt gently exfoliates, while oats soothe.
  • Leave the mask for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.
woman with face mask on
Add glycerin in your face mask for beautiful skin. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

4. Glycerine face mask for dry skin


  • Glycerin
  • Avocados
  • A teaspoon of olive oil


  • Blend glycerin, mashed avocado, and a teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Leave the mask for 20 minutes.
  • Gently rinse the mask with water.

Are there any side effects of glycerin?

While glycerin is generally safe, some people might experience some side effects. The most common is skin irritation, particularly if you have very sensitive skin. You may also experience signs including redness, itching, or a burning sensation. In rare cases, glycerin can also cause allergic reactions. Another potential issue is that in a very dry environment, glycerin might dehydrate the skin. Always use glycerin with water or other hydrating ingredients to prevent this from happening. Lastly, while glycerin does not usually cause acne, using too much or combining it with comedogenic ingredients could lead to breakouts.

It is best to use it in moderation and choose non-comedogenic products. Also, make sure to conduct a patch test before using these face mask ingredients in your beauty regimen. And do not forget to consult your doctor before using glycerin.

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