The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 56-81-5
Chem/IUPAC Name: Glycerol
EINECS/ELINCS No: 200-289-5
COSING REF No: 34040
Glycerin (also glycerine) is one of the most frequently used ingredients in the cosmetic industry. The reason is its effectiveness and versatility. Also known as Glycerol, Glycerin is an odorless and colorless liquid that remains non-toxic and anti-allergenic. It works well with cosmetics as Glycerin is a humectant, i.e., it draws moisture from the air and deeper layers of the skin – thus making it an excellent moisturizer.

What is GLYCERIN used for?

Glycerin is used in a range of cosmetic and skincare products and continues to be a favorite among consumers.
  • Skin care: Due to its hydrating property, Glycerin becomes a preferred good for skin and is used massively in moisturizers and lotions – to leave the skin healthy, smooth and supple. Toners also contain Glycerin for cleaning and replenishing purposes. It also has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Hair care: It works as an amazing leave-in conditioner for hair as it draws water from the air to nourish the hair and leave it shinier
  • Cosmetic products: It is used as a fragrance ingredient, denaturant, or protective component. A major plus is that Glycerin is non-comedogenic, i.e., it does not clog pores


Karl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist, accidentally discovered Glycerin while heating a mixture of olive oil and lead oxide in 1779. Today, it can be entirely vegan if derived from plants. It is obtained from plant oils such as coconut, soy, and palm oil. The latest way of making Glycerin has been via petroleum. This type of artificial synthetic glycerin is made in the laboratory. Nevertheless, plant-derived glycerin is still preferred since it is much cheaper to manufacture.

What does GLYCERIN do in a formulation?

  • Denaturant
  • Humectant
  • Moisturising
  • Perfuming
  • Preservative
  • Solvent

Safety profile

Glycerin is generally safe for the skin; however, a patch test is recommended. There is a risk of irritation if you are allergic to it. Glycerin is halal when derived from plant sources.

Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 290°C
Melting Point 17.9°C
pH 6.0
Solubility Insoluble in fixed and volatile oils
Miscible in water
Viscosity 176 cP

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely GLYCERIN

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