Glycerin (also called glycerol or glycerine) is an organic compound present in all natural lipids (fats). It usually comes in the form of a colourless, odourless, sweet-tasting liquid. Although it can be derived from tallow (animal fat), we only use glycerin from plant sources.
In our bodies, glycerin is naturally present in the skin and functions as a moisturiser, drawing moisture up through skin layers which slows or prevents excessive drying and evaporation. These moisture-retaining properties coupled with its mildness make it a particularly useful ingredient in skin or personal care products for people with sensitive skin. Glycerin is also used in formulations as a humectant, to help preserve the moisture content after production.
In toothpastes and oral care, glycerin can be used to help improve the smoothness and lubrication of the toothpaste, and to help protect teeth through its bacteriostatic action, which inhibits the reproduction of bacteria.
Other names: Glycerol, glycerine,1,2,3-Propanetriol