Every day you probably use some form of glycerin or glycerol. This clear, odorless liquid is sweet tasting and has a consistency of syrup. It readily dissolves in water and is a good solvent. Vegetable glycerin is derived from extracted glycerol fats from plant oils such as palm and coconut. It is commonly used as a base for pharmaceuticals and other household items. Glycerin can capture moisture from the air, making it a good addition to moisturizers. It has a relatively short shelf life and should be stored in a cool, dark place.
Glycerin makes a good base for facial cleansing oils. It is a natural product that can soften dry skin with a pleasant cooling effect. It is also good for use on sensitive skin with the addition of aloe vera juice. Mix glycerin with liquid castile soap for an effective cleanser. Add essential oils such as rosemary or peppermint for added scent. Essential oils and aloe vera juice are available from health food stores.
Vegetable glycerin makes attractive clear soaps. It melts at relatively low temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and is easy to work with. Add dyes and essential oils to create soap for your needs. Be aware, because of its tendency to draw moisture from the air, that it will dissolve more quickly than conventional bar soaps. Refrain from using glycerin soaps on your face in dry environments to prevent moisture loss.
Its sweet taste makes it a good base for herbal preparations that may contain bitter or sour-tasting herbs. Glycerin mixed with baking soda, salt and peppermint essential oil creates pleasant-tasting toothpaste that whitens your teeth. Online vitamin and herbal supply stores often sell herbal preparations containing glycerin for a variety of health-related uses.
Glycerin can be added to facial cream preparations for added moisturizing and soothing effects. Mix with sweet almond oil, liquid lecithin and melted beeswax. Add rosewater and essential oils for a personalized scent. Store prepared facial creams in the refrigerator. As with any product, discontinue use if you experience redness or other reactions when using products with glycerin.
Glycerin makes an effective conditioner, bringing moisture to dry hair. To help heal damaged hair, add aloe vera to glycerin for a moisture-rich conditioner.
Glycerin has applications that make household products. Grease molds and cupcake pans for easy removal after baking. Prevent hydraulic jacks from freezing with a little glycerin applied to exposed surfaces.
References and ResourcesCosmetic Trade: Vegetable Glycerin
Pioneer Thinking: What Is Glycerin?
Cleaning 101: What is Glycerin?
ResourcesBotanical: Vegetable Glycerine Profile
More Than Alive: Vegetable Glycerin