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Glycerin

Glycerin is one of the most common ingredients in cosmetic products and is a powerful moisturizing agent. This natural compound can be synthetically produced and has no odor, no color.

Learn about glycerin

Our ingredients are carefully selected to effectively support your unique skin needs. Learn more about the science behind glycerin and how it can help you care for your skin.

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What is Glycerin?

Glycerin is naturally part of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor, which is a group of molecules present in the skin to prevent extreme drying. Within the NMF, it works as a humectant - a moisturizing agent which draws water into the outer layer of the skin, from deeper levels and from the air.


In terms of humectant properties, glycerin is highly effective even when compared to other humectants. When used in skincare products to increase the moisturizing effect, glycerin is often paired with occlusives. These agents help to trap the moisture within the outer layer of the skin after glycerin has drawn it in - thus ensuring that the skin remains moisturized for longer.

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What does Glycerin do for the skin?

Glycerin is ubiquitous in skincare products because it performs many functions, primarily hydrating and moisturizing the skin, improving the skin barrier, and promoting overall skin health.

Benefits of glycerin

Glycerin diffuses into the outer layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum. In this crucial skin layer, glycerin acts as a humectant, drawing in moisture from the environment and deeper skin layers. This can help relieve dryness and replenish the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor. In this way, the skin's natural moisture is supplemented and locked in.


Glycerin also has emollient properties, meaning it aids skin softening. This is particularly useful for joint hydration and softening of rough or dry patches of skin, which makes it beneficial for dry skin.


You can benefit from the hydrating and moisturizing properties of glycerin through Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, which gives your skin long-lasting hydration through immediate absorption, leaving skin smooth, silky, and protected from dryness.

Our skin barrier is located in the stratum corneum, which is the outer layer of skin that glycerin diffuses into. This barrier aims to help prevent excessive water loss and prevent harmful compounds from getting into the body. In this way, it forms an important part of the moisture barrier.

Glycerin can be used to both prevent and soothe dry, rough, scaly, or itchy skin.

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