Vegetable Glycerin

When this ‘Mumbai mulgi’ became ‘Bangalore hudugi’ a few years ago, little did I know what was in store for me in terms of weather. From hot and humid with a barely-there-winter to cold and dry with a year-round-winter was a huge shock…..for my skin! It became even more dry, flaky and itchy, especially during cold winter months. And so started my search for a heavy-duty, long-lasting and effective moisturizer. That’s how I first came across this magic cure-all for dry skin…..Vegetable Glycerin. 

Here are my top 2 best Vegetable Glycerin in India:

  1. Sharrets 100% Pure Vegetable Glycerin (Good budget buy, No additives or harsh chemicals)
  2. Aura Cacia Organic Vegetable Glycerin (USDA Certified Organic with pure botanical ingredients)

It has been a staple in my skincare routine ever since. I may take a break from it periodically, just so that I can try other stuff (which girl doesn’t like variety!), but it always finds a way back into my beauty cabinet 🙂 It helps that it has also become a savior for my hair. 

So, what made me reach out for Glycerin in the first place?

Well, during my research on how to keep my skin healthy and moisturized, I came across a few DIY videos in which Glycerin was the star product used. So I decided to dig a little deeper to find more info on Glycerin and realized I had been living under a rock!

Turns out, Glycerin is widely used not only in cosmetics and personal care, but also in food and pharma industries. It’s easily available online or at your friendly neighborhood store. Affordable too!

Fun Fact: 

Glycerine was accidentally discovered in 1779 by the Swedish chemist, Karl Wilhelm Scheele, who named it “sweet principle of fat.” In 1811, Michel Chevreul, a Frenchman, named it Glycerin, which comes from the Greek word “glykys” meaning sweet.

More about it and how to use it for skin and hair care, later in my article. Before that…….

Here are some Vegetable Glycerin (VG) available in India:

1. Sharrets 100% Pure Vegetable Glycerin

Highly recommended Sharrets Vegetable Glycerin

Check price on Amazon

Key features:

  1. This is a non-GMO, Hexane free Vegetable Glycerin. 
  2. NO added flavor, color or additives. 
  3. Without Sulfates, Parabens, Petroleum, Dyes, Phthalates, harsh chemicals
  4. NO animal testing
  5. Comes in food grade HDPE bottle

Key Ingredient:

100% Pure Vegetable Glycerine

Quantity:

200 gms.

2. Elsa Vegetable Glycerin:

Elsa Glycerin for dry skin

Check price on Amazon

Key features:

  1. Vegan
  2. Colorless, Odorless, Chemical Free        
  3. Made from sustainable sources of palm oil   

Key Ingredient:

98.9% Pure Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

150 ml

3. Zenvista Meditech Pure Vegetable Glycerin: 

Zenvista Meditech Pure Glycerin 200ml

Check price on Amazon

Key Ingredient:

Pure Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

200 ml

4. Mint Veda Pure Vegetable Glycerine:

Mint Veda Glycerin for versatile skin care

Check price on Amazon

Key Ingredient:

Pure Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

200 gms

These are some imported options:

5. Now Foods 100% Pure Vegetable Glycerine:

Now Solutions Vegetable Glycerin, Non-GMO Verified

Check price on Amazon

Key features:

  1. NO harsh chemicals, synthetic ingredients
  2. NO Parabens, Microbial Pathogens, Nano-Particle Compound
  3. Non-GMO verified
  4. Derived from palm, grapeseed oil or coconut oil

Key Ingredient:

Pure Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

118 ml 

6. Aura Cacia Organic Vegetable Glycerin

Aura Cacia Vegetable Glycerin, USDA Certified Organic

Check price on Amazon

Key Features:

  1. USDA Certified Organic
  2. Pure Botanical Ingredients
  3. Not tested on animals
  4. NO synthetic ingredients
  5. NO Parabens, Petroleum

Key ingredient:

Organic Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

118 ml

7. Heritage Store Vegetable Glycerin:

Heritage Store Vegetable Glycerin, 240ml bottle

Check price on Amazon

Key ingredient:

Vegetable Glycerin

Quantity:

240 ml

Buyers’ guide:

Cheaper elsewhere?!

During my research, I was comparing prices on various e-commerce platforms, to make sure there is not much disparity between them. Imagine my shock when I found the imported options I’ve mentioned above were quoted on iHerb.com at less than 1/4th the price on Amazon! 

Now, iHerb.com is a good option if you want to get your hands on imported stuff that’s not available here. However, once the shipping charges are applied the price shoots up considerably. So, once I attempted to checkout from iHerb.com, with shipping charges, the final price quoted was even higher than the price on Amazon. So please use your discretion while shopping online.

Check it out for yourself here! 

What exactly is Vegetable Glycerin?

It’s a colorless, odorless, sticky liquid with a mildly sweet taste. It’s derived from plants such as coconut, soy or palm and is widely used not only in skin care products but also in the pharma and food industries worldwide. It gives a warm, fuzzy feeling when you rub it between your palms.

Why Glycerin? 

Because it is a humectant. A humectant is a substance that will pull and bind with the moisture from your environment. This helps in keeping your skin and hair moisturized and hydrated. No wonder that it’s so abundantly found in our skincare and hair care products. It’s suitable for all skin types.

How many types of Glycerin are available?

There are 2 types: 

  1. Natural Glycerin – It is derived from either plants (palm, soy or coconut) or animal fat. If the product specifically says ‘Vegetable Glycerin’ then it’s a plant-based one. Else, it’s difficult to determine if its plant-based or animal-fat based.
  2. Synthetic Glycerin – This is derived from petroleum. 

Is Vegetable Glycerine safe to use?

Yes, Vegetable Glycerine is generally safe to use. Having said that, even natural products may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Hence, it’s advisable to do a patch test if you are using it for the first time.

How can I use Glycerine in my skincare and hair care routine?

Skincare:

  1. Cleanser – Add a few drops of Vegetable Glycerine to your face wash and feel the difference
  2. Toner – Add a few drops of it to pure rose water, before spraying it over your face, for that refreshingly supple feeling
  3. Moisturizer – If you have extra dry skin, try adding a few drops to your moisturizer before applying it all over your body. The moisturizer will last longer and you won’t feel the need to reapply frequently.
  4. Face mask or Ubtan – You can add a few drops of Glycerin to your home-made face packs or ubtans for an instant boost of moisture to your skin
  5. Cracked heel remedy –  You can either apply it along with your foot cream or apply it directly (I prefer applying it directly) to your feet and wear socks before going to bed at night. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is in softening your cracked heels. 

Haircare:

  1. For dandruff – Mix it with your shampoo before applying and wash off as usual. Frequent use will ensure a dandruff-free scalp
  2. For itchy scalp – Remember the toner we made with pure rose water and glycerine? Well, massage the same over your scalp a couple of hours before shampooing. You can also leave it overnight to get rid of the itchiness. 
  3. For manageable, shiny hair – Mix Aloe Vera gel and Glycerine in equal quantity and apply on hair from root to tip. Leave it on for about 30 mins and then shampoo with a natural, sulfate-free shampoo. 

The possibilities of using Vegetable Glycerine in your daily beauty routine are endless. Let me know in the comments below, how you use or plan to use it in your daily beauty regimen. 

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