Is glycerin soap good for your skin?
Posted on 26th May 2020 at 19:51
Is glycerin soap good for your skin?
In this article we will cover a few topics related to glycerin soap and why it's good for your skin, they include:
Soap with glycerin in is good for your skin. The glycerin acts as a humectant, which keeps moisture locked into your skin. Humectants draw moisture from the atmosphere towards it which is why you will often see a glycerin soap ‘sweating’.
This is because the soap is drawing moisture from the surrounding atmosphere towards it, and unlike skin, the soap cannot absorb it, so it looks like the soap is sweating.
We like to think of glycerin like a cactus. It will draw moisture in from around it in the most efficient way possible. Glycerin is a humectant, similar to aloe vera gel. As we know Aloe vera (a species of cactus) is used in a lot of skin care products for its moisturising abilities.
According to this study glycerin is the most effective humectant which means that it is the best at pulling moisture from the air towards your skin. When you use a product with aloe vera or glycerin in these products should leave your skin moisturised.
When you have these humectants within skin care products, they will leave you moisturised, unless they have other ingredients counteracting them, ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate or excessive amounts of cleansing ingredients such as coconut oil and palm oil.
When you have surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulphate or its derivatives, the cleansing and degreasing agents within this will leave your skin stripped of its natural grease and feeling dry.
The aloe vera or glycerin within your product may counteract this, but only if there is enough of these ingredients included. With this in mind, it’s important to point out that glycerin and aloe vera are expensive ingredients and cleansers like sodium lauryl sulphate and palm oil are very cheap.
The likelihood is that the cheaper the product, the higher concentration of surfactants and cleansers and the lower the concentration of these amazing moisturising humectants.
Glycerin is listed on a lot of products which claim moisturising abilities, for instance you can find it on the label of most mass produced soaps, which is perfectly legal as it will probably contain a trace amount. These soaps will only have a miniscule amount of glycerin in as the majority of it has been removed.
So, glycerin soap is good for your skin, but only if it contains a high content of glycerin, preferably no surfactants and a low concentration of cleansers. Just like these.
How is glycerin made?
Glycerin is a bi-product from the soap making process. It is made from vegetable and animal fats. Within these fats are molecules called triglycerides. During the soap making process, also called saponification, these triglycerides produce glycerin.
Saponification is the process of soap making and in basic terms is mixing oils, fats and butters with a lye solution. This exothermic reaction produces fatty acid salts (the soap) and glycerin.
The glycerin is now within the soap, but can be separated. The process is really easy:
Simply add the soap to a pot of salted water.
The soap will then separate from the glycerin, in which the soap will float in curds on the top of the water, and the glycerin will be absorbed by the water.
Then remove the curds which can be melted back together to form a soap bar with trace amounts of glycerin
To get the glycerin out you will now have to boil off the salt water and you will be left with pure glycerin
Removing glycerin from the soap seems like a ridiculous thing to do considering the amazing benefits it has for your skin, but it is an extremely valuable ingredient. Glycerin is used in the cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industry.
In the food industry it is used in ice cream and other frozen products to stop ice crystals from forming in the freezing process, it can also be used as a thickener, solvent and emulsifier. It is a common ingredient in heart medication as it widens the arteries of the heart and lowers the heart rate, reducing the workload on the heart.
Most commonly glycerin is used in moisturising creams and lotions, this is because the humectant qualities of drawing moisture towards your skin adds huge benefits to a moisturising cream or lotion.
Large companies that mass produce over the counter soaps will remove the glycerin naturally produced in their soaps and add them to their own moisturising creams and lotions. So you will buy their soap, it will dry your skin, but hey presto they have a very expensive moisturiser that will put all that moisture back in your skin.
At Seatree Cosmetics, we believe in keeping our glycerin in our soap. If you use a bar with glycerin in, the glycerin will stay on your skin and leave your skin feeling soft, supple and moisturised.
Is pure glycerin soap good for your skin?
There are a couple of types of glycerin soap, there is the pure glycerin soap which is translucent and only made with pure glycerin. This soap is a good option but not the best.
The drawbacks to this soap are;
It is a very soft soap as it is made with pure glycerin which is a liquid. Soaps tend to last longer if they have hard fats incorporated into them, ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil are solid at room temperature and tend to make soap bars last longer.
One of the drawbacks of a pure glycerin soap, as mentioned in this study, is that concentrations of between 5-20% deliver the best results and anything over these concentrations have very little added benefits.
Using pure glycerin soap is like taking vitamin C tablets, when you already get enough in your diet. It's an expensive habit and most of it is doing nothing. Luckily our soaps fall within the effective range and contain lots of other skin loving ingredients.
Pure glycerin soap will dissolve if left in water, so make sure you have a soap dish which has draining holes in the bottom or you may find your bar has disappeared overnight.
So to answer the question is pure glycerin soap good for your skin, the answer is yes it is but you can get the same effects from a soap with high glycerin content plus the added benefits of all the other ingredients in the soap other than glycerin as we will explain below.
The other type of glycerin soap you can buy is a natural soap that states that it has glycerin in it. The problem with this is even the soaps produced by large companies have the majority of it removed still contain trace amounts of glycerin so are allowed to put it on their labelling.
The trick to distinguishing whether a soap contains a lot of glycerin or just trace amounts is to check the label for sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is salt and is present in the salt water used to separate the soap from the glycerin.
Sodium chloride has no real beneficial properties in soap apart from speeding up the curing process, but even this ‘benefit’ is relatively small and may only reduce curing time by a day or two.
If you can see sodium chloride present in your soap bar then it’s a pretty good bet the glycerin has been removed and sold on or used in the company’s other products.
Another benefit to soap, not pure but with high glycerin content, is if it contains hard fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter it will last for a much longer time than pure glycerin soap. It will also have other oils, fats and butters incorporated that have beneficial skin benefits.
Our soap includes olive oil and hempseed oil, which acts as an emollient for the skin, leaving it moisturised. When you add the high glycerin content in the soap, to these skin loving ingredients, you get a bar that moisturises your skin while washing and after use as the glycerin will benefit your skin all day or until your next wash.
Can glycerin soap be bad for your skin?
Yes, it can be, but luckily not in the UK. Glycerin’s humectant and moisture drawing ability can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
One circumstance in which we would recommend not using glycerin soap is in very hot and dry countries. This is because there is very little moisture in the air for the glycerin to draw to your skin.
In this case glycerin will try to draw moisture from somewhere and that somewhere is from the lower layer of skin also called the subcutaneous tissue. By drawing moisture from this layer of skin it can leave you dehydrated which is dangerous in any circumstance but especially so in a warm dry location.
If you are travelling to somewhere hot and dry, our advice would be to not use the soap unless you are sure you are going to be staying well hydrated throughout the day or visit a desert spring, lucky you!
Other than in these circumstances, glycerin in soap is perfectly safe and will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and moisturised which in itself is a massive health benefit.
Dry skin, such as skin affected by eczema or roscea has gaps between the skin cells where moisture is escaping, but also these gaps can allow bacteria and viruses in more easily.
So in conclusion yes glycerin soap is really good for your skin. It’s now up to you which type of glycerin soap you choose. We would recommend the natural soap with a high glycerin content as pure glycerin soaps have none of the extra benefits of all of the other skin loving ingredients.
Thank you for reading our article all the way to the end. If you are looking for a place to buy a bar of soap with high glycerin content and skin loving ingredients then you should look here.
More great articles to read!!!
What is glycerin soap?
Posted on 3rd June 2020 at 14:49
In this article you can find out what is glycerin soap, why glycerin soap is good and is it good for dry skin! All of this rolled into one amazing article!
7 Reasons to Switch to Natural Soap
Posted on 16th January 2020 at 13:34
7 Reasons to switch to 100% Natural Soap, that you need to know about. Find out more in this article on the benefits of natural soap bars for your skin.
Glycerin Soap and why it's great!
Posted on 30th July 2019 at 12:22
Find out why glycerin soap is so great! Soap with glycerin in will keep you soft and moisturised, Simple! Find out more about why you need this for soft skin.
Share this post: