Posted by Karen Williams on
The surprising number of benefits and uses of vegetable glycerin make it an excellent choice to add to a variety of blends for your whole body. Vegetable glycerin’s ability to lock in moisture without clogging pores is just one of the many reasons it is popular for use in body-care products the world over. We are excited to tell you all about this versatile, all-natural product and how it can benefit you, quite literally, from head to toe! But, before we get started digging into vegetable glycerin’s benefits and uses, let’s take a brief look at what vegetable glycerin is.
What is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable glycerin, also known as vegetable glycerol, is a trihydroxy sugar alcohol that is naturally derived from vegetable fats, such as coconut, palm, soy, or corn. It is a popular ingredient in all kinds of body-care products, medicines, foods, and more. Pure vegetable glycerin is clear, colorless, and viscous like thick syrup. It has no odor, but has a very sweet taste.
Aromatics International’s vegetable glycerin is made from organic corn that is naturally fermented for the sole purpose of producing all-natural vegetable glycerin. This glycerin is not a by-product and meets the highest standards of quality. It is USP grade, 99.7% pure, and certified organic. It has a shelf life of approximately 3 years, making it an excellent choice for all kinds of blends, including those where a long shelf life is desired.
Vegetable glycerin is a relatively modern creation, having only been discovered in the 20th century. Originally used in the food industry to sweeten foods, replace alcohol, and help emulsify oil-based and water-based ingredients, it was eventually discovered to have great benefits for the skin, too, as well as to help improve the flavor of herbal tinctures and medicines.
13 Benefits and Uses of Vegetable Glycerin
The benefits of vegetable glycerin are numerous, making this amazing liquid incredibly useful in a wide variety of blends for all sorts of applications. We’ve included a few of our favorite recipes at the end of this blog! In the meantime, here are some of the most popular benefits and uses of vegetable glycerin:
1. All Natural, Non-Toxic:
Safe for all uses, including blends for the mouth, food, medicinal preparations and tinctures. Our vegetable glycerin is organic, further ensuring no harmful chemicals have been introduced intentionally or unintentionally.
Vegetable glycerin provides superb moisturizing properties, helping prevent skin from developing wrinkles and damage caused by dryness.
Uses: Skin serums for reducing and preventing wrinkles, moisturizing blends for mature skin.
Vegetable glycerin can help gently cleanse while not stripping the skin (or hair) of moisture. It makes a great addition to body cleansers of all types. Combine with Castile soap and an essential oil or two of your choice for a powerful, all-natural cleanser that is gentle and moisturizing, too!
Uses: cleanser, makeup remover, shampoo & conditioner, hand soap, body wash.
4. Cooling Effect:
Vegetable glycerin has a cooling effect, making it useful for helping soothe “hot” skin conditions.
Uses: Minor burns, sun burns, rashes, hives, bug bites, diaper rash, razor burn.
5. Emulsifier & Thickener:
Vegetable glycerin works as an emulsifier, making it useful for blending both water-based and oil-based ingredients. It can also help thicken any blends you want to make.
Uses: Facial toners, recipes including both hydrosol (or other water-based ingredients) and essential oils, hand soaps.
Great for sensitive skin and for use with children and the elderly.
Uses: Topical recipes including, lotion blends, massage oils, moisturizers, etc.
7. Moisturizing and Humectant:
Vegetable glycerin is remarkably hydrating and emollient. It delivers moisture to your skin and helps your skin retain the moisture, too. Vegetable glycerin is also a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture from its surroundings. When combined with other oils and properly diluted, vegetable glycerin can keep your skin (or hair!) moisturized for long periods of time.
Uses: Moisturizing lotions and creams, body butters, body scrubs and bath salts, lip balms, leave-in conditioner for preventing frizzy hair, moisturize and brighten fingernails, treat severely dry skin such as cracked heels and chapped lips.
Vegetable glycerin locks in moisture without clogging pores. This makes it incredibly useful in blends formulated for those with acne or oily skin, where many other moisturizers can aggravate those issues.
Uses: Moisturizers & blends for all skin types, including skin prone to clogged pores.
9. Oil Control:
Vegetable glycerin has natural oil regulating properties.
Uses: Moisturizers and blends for oily skin, shampoo and conditioner for oily scalp.
10. Promotes Healing:
Add to various wound-care blends to take advantage of vegetable glycerin’s natural skin healing properties.
Uses: Wound care, blends for healing scars, psoriasis, eczema, mouth ulcers.
11. Reduces Acne, Including Blackheads:
Since it is a gentle cleanser, non-comedogenic, and oil regulating, vegetable glycerin is fantastic in blends for those with acne.
Uses: Blends formulated for reducing and preventing acne.
12. Skin-Smoothing Effect:
Vegetable glycerin fills in fine lines and wrinkles, making it perfect for hiding wrinkles and skin imperfections.
Uses: Cosmetic blends.
13. Sweet Taste:
Vegetable glycerin is perfect for making oral preparations and blends more appealing to the taste buds.
Uses: Herbal tinctures, medicinal preparations, toothpaste blends, teeth whitening blends.
Whether using it in daily moisturizers and cleansers or needing to heal conditions such as cracked heels, chapped lips, or rashes, vegetable glycerin is an excellent asset to add to many of your body-care blends. Its sweet taste and food-grade purity make it perfect for use in herbal tinctures and mouth care products, as well. Whatever your needs are, we are sure you’ll find that this beautiful, organic vegetable glycerin can help make your blends even better. Let us know what some of your favorite ways to use vegetable glycerin are in the comments below!
Vegetable Glycerin Recipes
- Add 2 Tbsp. of Vegetable Glycerin into a 100 ml bottle of Rose hydrosol. May use either the rose otto centifolia or the rose otto Damascena hydrosol.
- Add three drops of Rose Absolute Oil.
- Roll bottle gently to blend well.
- Spray on face, neck, and decollete after cleansing.
- This blend should keep for approximately one year. Store in a cool location.
- 2 Tbsp of pureed organic pumpkin
- 1/4 Tsp of pumpkin spice
- Blend together pureed pumpkin and vegetable glycerin with a small wire whip or spoon.
- Add dry pumpkin spice such as cinnamon, ginger, and clove to pureed pumpkin.
- Measure out white kaolin clay in a small bowl making sure clumps are broken up.
- Add clay to pumpkin blend little by little as the final amount of clay might vary, stirring well after each clay addition.
- Finally, and make sure this is added last, add 1 teaspoon of Peru Balsam Infused Jojoba oil. Add a small drizzle at a time blending well.
- If the blend is too thick, add more pureed pumpkin. If the blend is too thin add more kaolin clay. The final product should be a smooth easy to spread consistency such as frosting.
- Gently smooth onto clean face, neck, and decollete. Spread remaining over hands. Let sit on skin for approximately 10 -15 minutes or until the skin starts to feel tight. Rinse mask off with warm water, massaging face and neck as you gently exfoliate. Finish with a warm washcloth and spray with your favorite hydrosol or toner. A nice refreshing toner is a rose hydrosol.
- 1.5 ounces of Calendula Infused Olive Oil
- .5 ounces of Beeswax Pellets
- 2 Tsp Vegetable Glycerin
- 40 drops of Orange Sweet Oil
- 20 drops of Hops Oil Juicy Fruitbomb
- 12-13 Lip Balm Tubes
- 1 Lip Balm Tube Tray
This recipe makes about 12 lip balms (5 ml size).
- Lip Balm Tray - The easiest way to make lip balms is to buy a lip balm tray. These trays hold up to 50 lip balms and allow you to pour the hot melted oils and butter from your Pyrex cup into the tubes easily.
- A Pyrex Measuring Cup
- A Pan that the Pyrex Cup fits into
- Stick 12 lip balm tubes, uncovered, into the bottom of the tray, so they become the legs of the tray and are easy to fill with the melted lip balm.
- Gather all ingredients and measure them in separate little bowls.
- Blend the vegetable glycerin with the essential oil blend in a separate little bowl.
- Fill the pot about 1/3 way with water and place the Pyrex measuring cup in the pan.
- Add the beeswax to the Pyrex cup, put the burner on medium- enough for a simmer or low boil.
- Stir the beeswax until almost melted.
- Add the calendula oil, stir and take off the heat as soon as it is melted.
- Add the vegetable glycerine and essential oil blend to the Pyrex filled with the melted oils and butters.
- Stir and pour into the lip balm tubes. If the Pyrex lip is not thin enough for pouring into the tubes, you can also use a plastic pipette to siphon up the hot lip balm and squirt it into each tube. It takes longer this way but is more precise. If the lip balm starts to harden, place the Pyrex back into the hot water and it will stay liquid. Fill the tubes to the very top so once hardened, the top is smooth.
- As soon as the liquid has begun to harden (this happens within a few minutes), gently pull the lip tubes out from the bottom, cover and allow to harden a few hours before use.
Note: Vegetable Glycerin is a bit tricky to work with and sometimes will separate out of the oil solution. Stir frequently and well to incorporate. This is an optional ingredient.
To clean your tray: We find it easiest to wipe it off with a paper towel first, to get as much of the extra lip balm off as possible. Then soak in hot water, scrub and run through a dishwasher.
Try a few of these Essential Oil combinations in your lip balm creations -
- Peppermint Oil or Spearmint Oil (1-2 drops per lip balm tube)
- Peppermint Oil and Orange Sweet Oil (2 drops of Peppermint Oil and 3 drops of Orange Sweet Oil per lip balm tube)
- Lime Oil (steam distilled, 5 drops per lip balm tube)
- Sunshine Blend (Hops Oil Juicy Fruitbomb replacement - 5 drops per lip balm tube)
- Anise Oil and Orange Sweet Oil (2 drops of Anise Oil and 3 drops of Orange Sweet Oil per lip balm tube)