Vegetable Glycerin: A Closer Look

The surprising number of benefits and uses of vegetable glycerin make it an excellent choice to add to a variety...
Vegetable Glycerin: A Closer Look

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.

2. Anti-Aging

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.

3. Cleansing

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.

6. Gentle

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.

8. Non-Comedogenic

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

1. Rose Humectant Facial Toning Spray

The vegetable glycerin is a natural humectant, attracting moisture to the skin without being greasy, and the rose hydrosol is skin nourishing. This nutrient-rich combination is an alluring floral experience.

2. Pumpkin & Peru Balsam Face Mask

This delightful and nourishing pumpkin face mask has natural fruit enzymes and vitamins that help refresh and rejuvenate skin while fighting skin damage. Kaolin clay is gentle for sensitive skin, and helps detox the skin making it feel fresh and clean!

3. Juicy Fruity Moisturizing Lip Balm

Use this recipe as a template for a Calendula based healing and protective lip balm. Just use your favorite skin-friendly essential oil blend. Perfect for year-round use.

We made this recipe on FB Live, watch it here!

More Ideas:

Try a few of these Essential Oil combinations in your lip balm creations -

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Karen Williams


Hi, my name is Karen Williams. As a professional aromatherapist, I love to create amazing blends that inspire and promote a healthier lifestyle. I got my start many years ago as a registered nurse working in the hospital system. But along the way I knew something was missing. I wanted to help people more holistically. Then, I discovered essential oils, and my approach to life changed forever. Now, I’ve made it my mission to share what I’ve learned about aromatherapy with my friends, family, and the world. Because - life is so much better with health, happiness, and community. 

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