Vegetable glycerin, which is also called glycerine or glycerol, consists of a type of clear liquid that is usually made from coconut, palm oils, or soybean.
This liquid has a syrup-like consistency, is odourless, and has a mild and sweet taste, it also has atex pumps.
Vegetable glycerine is used extensively in cosmetic industries, yet it also has several alternative uses. For example, it is also able to offer a few health benefits that range from improved hydration to a stronger gut and skin health.
Below we will give you more information on the benefits, side effects, and uses of glycerine.
What Exactly Is Vegetable Glycerin?
Glycerin is classified as a type of sugar alcohol that is derived from petroleum, plants, or animal products.
Vegetable glycerin is one of the variants that come from plant oils. It is believed that it was discovered accidentally over 200 years ago in the way of heating a combination of lead monoxide and olive oil.
Yet its uses only became industrially and economically significant in the era of the late 1800s when used for making dynamite.
Vegetable glycerin involves heating vegetable fats that are triglyceride-rich, such as coconut, soy, and palm oils, which are placed under a pressure or combined with an alkali like lye.
This process causes the fatty acids and the glycerine to split. The glycerine then combines with water, which creates a sweet-tasting, odourless, syrupy liquid.
The Common Uses
Vegetable glycerin is used widely in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food industries.
For example, it added frequently to foods in order to assist with combining water-based and oil ingredients or to moisten or sweeten the product.
It also assists with stopping the development of ice crystals in frozen foodstuffs, like ice cream, frozen yoghurt, along with other frozen desserts.
Glycerin is another common ingredient found in pharmaceutical medications, which include cough medications, suppositories, heart medication, and even anaesthetics.
It is also common to find this type of glycerine in products such as toothpaste, to stop the hardening or drying out of the toothpaste inside the tube.
Other common products that contain vegetable glycerine include makeup, deodorants, soaps, lotions, and candles.
The Potential Benefits
However, only a select few of these benefits are backed by science, while related studies and research are typically small and few. It is important to consider that more research is required when it comes to different health benefits.
Here are a few benefits that are backed by research.
Can Moisturise the Skin
Vegetable glycerin is one of the well-known skincare treatments due to its moisturising power.
Studies have proven that applying vegetable glycerine directly to the skin might slowly improve its suppleness and smoothness. In fact, using a moisturiser that contains glycerine may increase the hydration levels in the skin in as little as 10 days.
Can Promote Skin Health
Vegetable glycerin might encourage improved skin health in the way of soothing skin irritations, and speeding up wound healing, and protection against infections.
Research has shown that applying products that contain glycerine can also protect your skin against microbes and irritants and soothe wounded or inflamed skin.
In addition, vegetable glycerine can perform as a type of barrier to protect the skin from elements such as cold and wind.
May Boost Athletic Performance and Hydration
Vegetable glycerin can assist with improving hydration and this encourages improved athletic performance.
One of the best methods to prevent hydration includes consuming enough liquids during and before exercise. However, in some forms of activities, it is not possible to drink liquids during exercise. In these instances, drinking enough beforehand is important.
In one study, a drink containing vegetable glycerine was proven to be more effective compared to sports drinks or water in the way of improving hydration levels in the athletes that had lost significant water amounts due to sweating while exercising.
The Potential Side Effects
In general, vegetable glycerin is regarded as safe.
With this in mind, some people do experience allergic reactions when applying vegetable glycerine directly to the skin.
When consumed, vegetable glycerin can result in nausea, excessive thirst, vomiting, dizziness, and headaches in a few people.
Because glycerin is classified as a sugar alcohol, the body is unable to fully absorb it, which means excessive consumption through foods or alone can result in diarrhoea and gas.