Glycerin serves a variety of purposes, from making explosives to beauty products. It is used to moisten, sweeten and preserve food and commercial products. Common in soaps and lotions, glycerin oil is used in skin care for its moisturizing and lubricating properties.


Glycerin, glycerine and glycerol are names for the organic compound which is usually derived from palm or coconut fat. When marketed as a pure oil, it is often referred to as vegetable glycerin oil and must contains at least 99.7 percent glycerol to be considered pure, as the rest is water.


Glycerin oil is colorless, odorless and sweet tasting, with a syrup-like consistency. Water-soluble, non-toxic and hypo-allergenic, it is a humectant with water-holding properties and attracts moisture to the skin.

Beauty and Health Uses

Pure glycerin oil is found in most bathroom toiletries, including shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics. It is used as a non-sugar sweetener in foods as well.


Glycerin’s botanical name is “palm derived,” and it is originally from Malaysia. In the late 1900s, soap-makers began making glycerin available on the market as a product of its own by separating it from soap through distillation in the soap-making process.

Medical Uses

Pure, 100 percent vegetable glycerin oil can be ingested orally and helps with eye conditions such as glaucoma, swelling of the brain, and is used in stool softeners. It is used in manufacturing pharmaceuticals as well.