With summer coming to an end, most of us are not looking forward to our skin getting drier as winter approaches. We have to change our summer skincare products to ones that are more gentle and ultra-moisturizing. But when you’re shopping for these new products, what ingredients should you be looking for? Unfortunately, there can be lots of unnecessary filler ingredients that don’t actually moisturize your skin. But one ingredient you can always count on is glycerin. What is glycerin? You may have never heard of this magic ingredient, so keep reading to learn all about it!

What is Glycerin?

To make it simple, let’s discuss the different types of “moisturizing” ingredients in the skincare world. First up we have occlusive moisturizers, which really help lock in moisture by creating a barrier on the surface of your skin.

Next, we have emollients. Emollients have the job of smoothing out the skin on a cellular level, especially around areas that are rough. The problem with emollients is that unfortunately, they don’t do much to actually hydrate your skin. Most emollients contain oils that just give the illusion of hydration, without penetrating the skin to provide moisture. Your skin may feel soft and smooth after using emollients, but don’t be fooled! Because of the oils, emollients repel water and are not optimal for moisturizing purposes.

Lastly, we have humectants. Humectants have properties that attract water (rather than repel it like emollients). This characteristic makes humectants amazing for skin hydration. As you probably have guessed by now, our star ingredient glycerin is actually a humectant. This is why you should be looking for it in all your skincare products that claim to be moisturizing.

What are the Benefits of Glycerin?

It’s the most effective moisturizing ingredient. If you have dry skin and can’t seem to find the right product, you’ll want to look for glycerin. It can be found in all kinds of skincare products, including cleansers, moisturizers, and serums! Because it prevents the loss of moisture (instead of just replenishing it), glycerin is a life-saver for anyone looking for hydration.

It protects against harsh ingredients. Did you know that glycerin is actually used in a lot of medical grade prescription skincare products? If the product is especially strong, glycerin is added in order to protect the skin from irritation. So if you’re using any acne products or something similar and are experiencing irritation, try adding glycerin!

It mimics the skin’s natural moisturizing factor. Glycerin is the ingredient that is closest to the natural makeup of your skin’s moisture barrier. This is why it’s perfect for people of all ages and skin types! Since everyone’s skin produces some sort of moisture, glycerin can benefit almost anyone no matter what their skin situation is. Even if your skin is oily, glycerin can help balance out your skin without contributing to the oil.

Our Favorite Glycerin Products

If you don’t know where to begin when looking for products containing glycerin, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite skincare go-to’s so that you don’t have to stress. Whether you’re looking for cleansers, moisturizers, treatments, or masks, we’ve got you covered.

Pro Tip: Glycerin is a very sticky ingredient. When in skincare products, its best if glycerin is the third or fourth ingredient down, ranking at about a 10% usage level. You can also pick up a bottle of vegetable glycerin and mix in a few drops in your moisturizer for a boost of hydration.

Tula the Cult Classic Purifying Facial Cleanser

This cleanser is infused with glycerin and probiotics to hydrate and nourish the skin, while still deeply cleansing. The superfoods in this product help to condition your skin and avoid stripping the natural oils and overdrying! If you’re on the hunt for a new face wash, you may want to consider picking up this one.

Paula’s Choice CALM Soothing Toner Normal to Dry

You’ll definitely want to try this toner if your skin is ever feeling stressed or irritated. It’s hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and brightening because of the licorice root extract. What more could you ask for?? You can use this toner morning and night, right after cleansing, to see the best results.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This affordable skin treatment is jam-packed with the most hydrating, soothing ingredients you can find! This Ordinary is known for creating products with gentle and non-irritating ingredients, and this one is no exception. It’s great for all skin types, but those of you with extra dry skin can even layer an oil on top for extra hydration. You can use this product post-cleansing on a daily basis, depending on how dry your skin is.

REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm

This ultra-hydrating balm moisturizing is a godsend if you’re looking for the ultimate cure for dry skin. This product is all natural and infused with tons of antioxidants, making it the perfect overnight treatment. If your skin is extra dry, you can use this moisturizer every night. But if you’re on the more normal to oily side, using it a few times a week is plenty!

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP + Body Cream with Shea Butter and Glycerin

If you’re looking for a glycerin-infused body product, you’ve come to the right place. Your body will thank you a million times over, especially if you have eczema or sensitive skin. If the glycerin wasn’t enough, this cream also contains shea butter and niacinamides that will aid in hydration and anti-aging. Use this product right after the shower and watch your skin tranform.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy

Glycerin, honey, and sea buckthorn oil are the star ingredients in this mask. Those of you who love having a spa night every now and then absolutely have to pick this up! This product is unique because it slowly warms up as you massage it into your skin, making it a relaxation must-have. Your skin will feel smooth, supple, and moisturized after just one use.