What Is Glycerin?
Glycerin is a by product of the soap making industry, that is commercial soap making industry. Soap is made by mixing lye with oils, both the commercial and homemade soap makers follow this step. But after mixing the lye, handmade soaps are poured into molds whereas commercial soap makers will remove the glycerin before setting the soap.
That is the main difference between homemade soaps and commercial soaps and this is also the main reason homemade soaps sweat. Glycerin absorbs water, so the homemade soaps absorb water and this leads to sweating. This is one big problem handmade soap makers will face which I also went through when I was making soaps.
This is why hand crafted soaps are expensive than regular commercial soaps as it retains all the moisture absorbing glycerin in it which is very good for the skin. Commercial soap makers remove the glycerin because they get huge profit selling it as it has many uses and has a huge demand.
Glycerin Skin & Hair Benefits:
I can confidently say that every single person uses glycerin almost everyday without realizing it because it is used in tooth pastes, lotions, shaving creams, in making tablets, hair care products and in soaps (commercial transparent soaps need glycerin). Glycerin is also used in food industry, cake decorators add it to fondant icings to keep it soft and workable.
Glycerin can be made either from plant sources or synthetically, plant based glycerin is expensive but it is best to use plant based glycerin. You get wide choices of glycerin made from different oils, I think you even get coconut oil based glycerin. If you are planning to use it in food like in icing, make sure it is of food grade. Since glycerin absorbs the moisture, it always keeps the skin hydrated and smooth, it is for this amazing quality that we love to use it on the skin and hair.
To use glycerin for hair, mix a few drops of pure glycerin in your conditioner, this will treat split ends. You can also use glycerin directly on the lips to keep it soft and to prevent cracked lips. At home, we can make wonderful lotions and packs with glycerin, especially the rose water and glycerin lotion is my favorite. ….
5 Top Benefits & Uses Of Glycerin For Hair, Skin & Health:
1. Glycerin For Skin: Vitamin C Serum:
Contrary to what many think, homemade vitamin c serum has just few ingredients that can be easily sourced and can be made in a matter of minutes. The main ingredient for this serum is pure vitamin c powder which can be got online easily in shops like amazon or eBay. The other main ingredient is pure glycerine, glycerine can be got in any medical shops and the last ingredient is pure distilled water.
When you first start using the serum start with thinner concentration and then when it agrees with you, you can move onto thicker concentrations. The recipe I have given is for approximately 5 % concentration, which should work for all types of skin. I would strongly suggest starting only with this concentration and for problem prone skin this concentration will work better without irritating the skin. The main problem you will face when making this serum is that vitamin c might not dissolve well into the water, for that you have to use fine vitamin c powder and mix really well till it dissolves.
Though you can grind up vitamin c tablets into powder, I would strongly advice buying pure vitamin c powder. The second problem some of you might face is that the mixture might me a bit sticky depending on your skin type. That is because of the glycerine, I have used only 3/4 tsp for this recipe, usually this ratio does not make the skin greasy, if it does decrease it even further. This serum is best applied after cleansing your face every night and before using the moisturizer.
Regular use has amazing skin benefits, it will delay wrinkles and also reduce the damage caused by pollution that our skin experience everyday. To make the serum, take around 3 tsp distilled water in a small bowl and dissolve 1/4 tsp vitamin c powder really well by mixing the ingredients with a spoon. Add the 3/4 tsp glycerine to the above mixture and mix well. Strain the whole mixture using a fine sieve and pour it in a dark bottle and use.
2. Glycerin For Skin: Making Homemade Sanitizer:
Glycerin is used in making homemade sanitizers to prevent the alcohol from drying the hands, I always use it when making the sanitizer. The ingredients used for the sanitizer are rubbing alcohol, Aloe Vera gel and glycerine. The alcohol in the mixture sanitizes the hands, you can also substitute unflavored vodka for rubbing alcohol, if you don’t like the smell of rubbing alcohol.
Aloe Vera gel and glycerine in the sanitizer moisturizes the hands well. I have used tea tree oil too, as it is has powerful antimicrobial properties and helps to kill the bacteria in the hands along with alcohol. Try to buy the best quality, pure Aloe Vera gel to make homemade sanitizer. I made it with fresh Aloe Vera gel, but the shelf life of the product made with fresh Aloe Vera gel will be very less than the one made with Aloe Vera gel that we get in the markets.
To make the sanitizer, take the Aloe Vera gel and rubbing alcohol and mix well together. Add the glycerine and tea tree essential oil and mix well till everything is combined well together. If you feel the Aloe Vera gel is not blended well, you can even use the blender to mix everything together. You can adjust the amount of alcohol, but anything less than 50 % will not be effective as a hand sanitizer. You can find the link to the step by step instructions for making the sanitizer here.
3. Glycerin For Eyes: Under Eye Mask
This malai and dates eye mask can be made in no time. Many of us have dark circles under our eyes due to lack of sleep, long hours in front of the computer and television, busy and stressful life style etc. This under eye mask made with fresh malai, dates and glycerin is perfect to relax the skin around the eyes.
As our skin around the eyes are very delicate, gentle masks like these work wonders in helping to reduce dark circles. Glycerin is a natural emollient and it helps to retain moisture. Dates when applied tropically helps in making the skin soft and supple. Fresh malai helps in reducing the dark circles. To make this under eye mask, soak dates in water after removing the seeds, till it gets soft. Strain the water and take the dates in a blender along with fresh malai and glycerin.
Blend till you get a smooth mixture and apply under the eyes. The mixture shouldn’t have any lumps. Fresh malai, is nothing but the fat layer that forms after boiling milk. If you don’t have it at home, you can substitute it with store bought fresh cream. The mixture should be thick and creamy, else it will drip down the face.
4. Glycerin and Rose Water Lotion:
Glycerin is great when added to lotions. I especially like this homemade lotion made with rose water and glycerin. If you are person who don’t have patience to go through elaborate steps, then you will greatly enjoy making this easy homemade lotion recipe at home. This homemade body lotion is very good for dry skin, especially during the winter months.
This lotion also can be used on acne prone skin and the best thing about this lotion is it is very cost effective and at the same time, it works very well. Please try to make your own rose water at home, as it gives the best results. Store bought rose water contains just artificial essence and water.
You can even make the rose water ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Once you get hold of all the ingredients, you can make this homemade lotion in a matter of minutes. When I was making the lotion, the rose smell that was wafting from the lotion was incredible. This lotion keeps well for few weeks, if refrigerated. You can find the full recipe here.
5. Glycerin Tincture For Health:
Another important use of glycerin is in making tinctures. Making vegetable glycerin tinctures is one of the easiest thing that we can do at home and anyone trying to make your own medicines should give it a try. The best thing about tinctures is the shelf life, they can be stored for a long time and if you are traveling, it comes in very handy. Tinctures can be made with alcohol or glycerin as a base, I prefer glycerin based tinctures as it can be given to young children.
For the glycerin, we need food grade, pure vegetable glycerine. Nowadays every departmental store has glycerine but make sure to check that it is food grade and try to get the best quality glycerine. As for the choice of the herbs, if you are living in a city and find it hard to collect or dry herbs, opt for dried herbs that are sold in herbal shops. They sell organic herbs that are already mixed in proper proportions to suit different requirements.
Like for instance, herbs that assist in general well being, herbs for cough, etc. Jut search for tincture mix kit online and you can choose the herbs according to your requirements. I opted for eucalyptus leaves for making the tincture, as there is no eucalyptus tree in our farm. I had collected some fresh eucalyptus leaves, sun dried and stored them about a month before, so it came in handy while making the tincture. But this eucalyptus tincture can be consumed only by adults as eucalyptus leaves are considered toxic for kids (it is safe for adults in smaller dosages).
But for kids, this tincture can be mixed with water and can be used as a gargle for sore throat. I have also decided to make tinctures for all the herbs that I don’t get in my place slowly one by one using this method. I did this whole process over my stove top and this whole process took about 3 hours. Since I used dried herbs, I mixed in a little bit of water to soften the herbs a bit. If you are using fresh herbs then you can skip the water and use just glycerine, as fresh herbs will have moisture in it.
The only precaution while doing this glycerine tincture is making sure that you put a towel underneath the bottle else the bottle will break and the fire should be on the lowest setting to prevent burning. These tinctures are very concentrated medicines and should be used sparingly. The whole house was smelling good when I was making the tincture and I had a wonderful time making this tincture at home 🙂