What is Glycerin and what does it do in products?

What is Glycerin and what does it do in products?

Glycerin is a humectant (helps retain moisture) and is used in a wide variety of applications from skin and hair care to oral care. Glycerin, which is also known as glycerol or glycerine, can be made from tallow (animals), vegetables or synthetically. At Rustic Strength we use a Kosher USP food grade vegetable glycerin derived from soy and is 99.7% pure.  For those individuals that are trying to avoid soy for either dietary reasons or sensitives we can offer this information.  Glycerin will penetrate the stratum corneum layer of the skin.  This layer is the outer most layer that is continual shedding dead keratinocytes and helps keep water from entering or leaving the body.  For hair, glycerin draws moisture from the air into the hair.


Why do we use glycerin?

We use glycerin in any product that touches the skin or hair.  Glycerin helps retain moisture in the skin, so it makes since to add it to our hand soap, dish soap, and body wash.  It is thought to be more effective than silicone oils, urea, and even alpha hydroxyl acid.

Our hair and conditioners contain glycerin to help pull moisture from the air into the hair. It can also help decrease breakage and split ends.  

Is glycerin safe to use? Is it nontoxic?

Glycerin is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the FDA for food and drug administration; and is in approximately 15,654 cosmetic products as of 2019.  Is approved by the EPA and has an EWG score of a 1 - 2 (because it can be made from animals and synthetically).  It is readily biodegradable according to a UNEP publication
Keep an eye out on products that aren’t using a “USP grade”, “non-gmo”, or “Kosher certified” glycerin.  These could be made with a synthetic glycerin which is usual derived from epichlorohydrin.  This chemical is toxic and a possible carcinogen. 

In Summary

Rustic Strength uses USP food grade, Kosher certified glycerin for many of our products.  It helps to retain moisture in skin and hair.  It can help prevent damage and split ends. It is a safe and effective product that is readily biodegradable. 

If you have any questions regarding this or any other chemical we use feel free to reach out to customercare@rusticstrength.com  We would be more than happy to answer your questions. 


We invite you to do your own research! 

Scientific journals and articles are the foundation of evidence-based decisions at Rustic Strength. Blogs can provide helpful information. However, if it can not cite scientific articles, its claims stand on little. 

helps retain moisture - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9205919/

stratum corneum - https://training.seer.cancer.gov/melanoma/anatomy/layers.html


draws moisture - https://aohd.com/news/glycerin-friend-or-foe

silicone oils - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetable-glycerin#benefits

alpha hydroxyl acid - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/

15,654 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1091581819883820#bibr2-1091581819883820

EPA - https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-ingredients#searchList

EWG - https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/702620-GLYCERIN/

UNEP publication https://hpvchemicals.oecd.org/ui/handler.axd?id=4b0a2d87-3183-40d4-84f5-


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