Glycerin and Acne

Okay, so I’ve been chomping at the bit to talk about this. I gave it a few weeks as a test run, and now I have to let you know about glycerin for dry, dehydrated, acne prone skin.

Last week on the blog, I talked about humectants, which are ingredients in skin care that attract and hold water in your skin. This is all very important for healthy functioning, acne free, and young looking skin.

Now, for good part of a year, I’ve been using an awesome DIY moisturizer that contains a mixture of facial oils, aloe vera, and an assortment of other nourishing ingredients like essential oils and MSM.

I’ve been very happy with this mixture. My skin has been looking very nice since using it, and it feels dewy and hydrated for… well, at least two thirds of the day.

I have to admit that later on in the day, as well as after waking up in the morning, I did still feel like my skin was a little tight. Not terribly, but a little bit. I felt like there was some room for improvement.

But the thing is, I thought I had my bases covered when it came to humectants.

Half my moisturizer is aloe vera, which is a humectant. And I apply it to wet skin so my skin can absorb the water and get locked in with the oils.

I also had tried playing around with hyaluronic acid at one point, which is supposed to be one of the more powerful humectants!  Yet – for some reason, it immediately made my skin feel MORE dry.

So I thought, well, skin feels pretty good for the most part… maybe this is as good as it’s going to get.

And then Glycerin Walked into My Life

So a few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of 100% pure USP glycerin from the drug store because I was making this knock-off “Poo-pourri” poo spray for our bathroom.. LOL.. which is awesome, by the way. You should make it.

Once I had the bottle of glycerin in hand, I thought “hey, isn’t this supposed to be an awesome humectant?”

So out of curiosity, I wet my face and then slathered a bunch on.

And it was like the heavens opened up and shone down on my face.

It had never felt so good and so hydrated and omg… I looked, like, at least … like six years younger. At least!

So I added a little bit into my DIY moisturizer …

Side note: glycerin should be diluted to no more than 10% concentration for skin care use. Apparently it’s irritating in high doses, so you don’t want to apply straight glycerin… it also will dry out your skin over time if too much is used. More isn’t necessarily better!

And I use the moisturizer twice a day, applied to damp or wet skin and let it air dry for as long as possible (and just wipe off any excess if I have to leave the house quickly).

And I’m serious… my skin feels FRIGGIN’ AMAZING!

It’s perfectly dewy and hydrated ALL day, which means it looks amazing. It never feels dry.

And the consistency of the glycerin is like this perfect slippery yet sticky base, making any makeup you put on over it glide and stick on like a dream (the perfect “makeup primer”). I don’t really wear much makeup anymore, but my under-eyes look incredible!

AND it only costs like 5 bucks at your local drug store!

AND I literally have not had a single pimple since I’ve started using it.

Like seriously! How good can this get?!

I Hope it Works As Well For You As It Does For Me

The thing is… glycerin is my new holy grail for dry acne prone skin, but there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work as well for you as it is for me.

People have different skin and different circumstances. For example, most people love hyaluronic acid, but I hated it. So it’s possible that you might hate glycerin.

I also live in a somewhat humid environment by the ocean so my skin may have more water in the air to draw from (although it is winter, so I’m mostly in dry indoor air anyway).

Maybe if you live in a desert, it won’t work as well. Or maybe if you’re in a SUPER hot and humid place, you’ll find it won’t absorb and feels sticky.

I also have a dry skin type. Perhaps it’s possible that glycerin has a different feel when applied onto oily skin, and doesn’t feel as nice.

I just don’t know.

But I say it’s worth trying, because a bottle of it is only five bucks!

Tips for Trying Glycerin:

  • I find it very effective just adding the glycerin right into my oil mixture and applying the humectants and oils together to wet skin, but some people think it’s more effective to apply humectants first, and then oils in a second step.
  • If you want to apply in a separate step, then it’s good to know that glycerin dissolves in water. So you can make a mixture of 1 part glycerin to 10 parts rose water (or aloe vera) and apply that as a pre-oil serum.
  • Even for oily skinned people, the oil step is helpful to lock the moisture in, especially if applying a light oil high in linoleic such as hemp seed oil. However, if you have oily acne prone skin and have tried a lot of oils and don’t seem to have much luck, try humectants like glycerin mixed with aloe vera, without the oil, and see if it works better for you. However, if you have dry skin, definitely don’t skip the oil step! You need it to stop that water from evaporating and making your skin more dry.
  • Play around with the amount of glycerin-containing-moisturizer you use in order to get the best effect for you. I personally feel like I need to use less of my moisturizer with each application now that I’ve added the glycerin to it.

And that is all! Have fun and let me know how it goes in the comments below!