“There are so many good stuff that goes into a skincare product – you’ve all heard about much celebrated ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid (HA). But is there one hero ingredient that isn’t getting much hype yet is deserving of our love?”
It’s year 2018 and we are not going to talk about sexy, new or even breakthrough ingredients but just one that is most commonly used instead. This ingredient does not have an exotic characteristic like cactus oil in a certain Korean brand nor does it take rocket science to understand its usage.
So is there a best ingredient in the realm of skincare? We decided to prod the minds of Luisa Milleza, Chief Scientist of HVNS Productions who works on the development and reformulation of IDS Skincare products.
“There are many. But I would say glycerin is one.”
Glycerin? Really? Why?
Glycerin, also known as glycerol or glycerine, is a humectant found in all natural lipids (fats). It is a substance found naturally in the skin (HA is another one), and it helps to replenish and restore hydration, and balance in the skin.
As dryness is the quickest way to age one’s skin, maintaining skin’s moisture level is then the key to a plump, supple, healthy look and feel.
To better understand the functions of moisturizers, our skin is capable of moisturizing itself but environmental aggressors can cause our skin to dry out and damage its barrier function. This is where topical moisturizers come in to help rehydrate the skin.
What to look for in a moisturizer?
The moisturizing agents fall into three main categories:
➢ Humectants that penetrate into the skin where they attract and retain moisture
➢ Occlusives that remain on the surface of the skin, forming a film / layer that prevents evaporation of moisture
➢ Emollients (oils and lipids) which softens the skin to improve its appearance and feel
Often, agents with complementary modes of action are combined in a product to achieve maximum efficacy.
“Glycerin is considered to be one of the most effective humectants. It is widely used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products because of its lubricative and moisture-retaining properties. Glycerin has the same function as HA, hence it works in the same way, but it is also more inexpensive in terms of cost. Its benefits include in rehydrating the skin, restoring barrier functions, as well as smoothening the skin and increasing its elasticity. These benefits however, depend on the quantity of glycerin that is absorbed. Products with 20 to 30% glycerin have been shown to rehydrate dry skin faster compared to those with less than 10%. Unfortunately, the higher the level of glycerin used in a formula, the level of stickiness also increases. This is why glycerin levels are used at lower levels of less than 10% in most of products, together with other non-sticky moisturizing agents” adds Luisa.