Glycerin absorbs water from air, making it what is called hygroscopic. Because of this, it can bring water to your skin,
making it a popular ingredient in skin and cosmetic products. In fact, glycerin is so absorptive that if you leave a pure bottle of it open, it would eventually absorb enough water to change its composition to only 80% glycerin with the other 20% being water.
As skin ages, it cannot retain moisture as well and this causes rough, dull skin that is prone to irritation and redness, but using glycerin regularly can prevent these problems associated with dryness. It also helps your face seem smoother by filling in the microscopic cracks in the dry skin.
A study in 2002 showed that a cream with 20% glycerin was able to successfully treat skin that was dry and eczematous without the irritation associated with traditional treatments.
Because of its dual ability to hydrate the skin and fill in gaps in dryer skin, glycerin is able to protect your face by keeping the outer layer of the skin intact. This layer is essential as it is the natural barrier protecting you from pollutants and disease-causing organisms.
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