Glycerine comes from a sugar alcohol that is derived from either petroleum, plants, or animal products. Vegetable glycerin is a variant from plants, and according to its history, it was accidentally discovered when lead monoxide and olive oil were mixed. It was discovered around two centuries ago already, and it was industrially and economically significant before for its uses in making dynamites. Ever since its discovery, it has been making rounds for its role in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food production industries.
Vegetable glycerine is formulated by vegetable fats that are rich in triglycerides like soy, coconut oils, and palm soy. It is mixed together with lye, which has a strong content of alkali. This process allows the splitting of fatty acids, causing the formation of sweet0tasting, syrup-like, and odorless liquid. In this read, we will know more about vegetable glycerine and its history, uses, benefits, side effects, and places on where you can buy it, too.
Vegetable Glycerine: Uses and Benefits
Glycerine or also called glycerol is a colorless and odorless liquid that could be found anywhere in nature. It could also be synthetically made and it is a well-known ingredient for products. Since it has many antiviral and antimicrobial properties, it is an effective and widely used burn and wound treatment. The FDA has approved its use for treatments, too. It has a variant which is vegetable glycerine, and it is being used in the industry today for the following:
- Marker for liver disease measurement
- Sweetener for products in the food industry
- Helps the moistening of food products
- Allows water-based and oil ingredients to mix
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Medication for suppositories, anesthetics, cough, and heart disease
- Prevents the formation of ice crystal in several frozen food products like desserts, ice cream, and frozen products
- Beauty products like soaps, lotions, and makeup.
- Ingredient for toothpaste as it would prevent the product to dry out inside the tube.
It is amazing to know how a simple product could create such convenience and effects for the many products that we have in our market today. Aside from its common uses, vegetable glycerine also has numerous positive benefits for health and wellness.
It’s important to note that not all the benefits are backed up with a large scale study about its claims of benefits. Since the research conducted about these is still small and few, more studies would be needed to confirm all of it. We have listed some of the benefits that have had the most researched.
1. Reduces constipation and acts as a natural laxative.
Vegetable glycerine has a natural laxative effect as it could draw the water from the gut and would allow the food that’s digested to move smoothly. According to a study, it is more effective as a suppository compared to a soap enema.
It is now a popular treatment for the skin and a widely used ingredient for beauty products as it has powers in moisturizing. Studies show that if you apply it in your skin, it would improve the suppleness and skin smoothness. Creams and products that have glycerine could also increase the hydration of the skin in as early as 10 days of consecutive use.
3. Boost athletic performance and hydration in the body
When athletes are properly hydrated, the athletic performance could also be boosted and improved. This is because sweat is one of the culprits of dehydration. Drink lots of liquids before and during your routine or exercise.
4. Promotes skin health
If you use vegetable glycerine, it could help with any types of wound healing, skin and body infection as well as skin irritation. When used, it would protect the skin from microbes and irritants. It could also aid in making sure that the skin is protected from the cold and wind.
5. Soothes and cools skin discomforts
Vegetable glycerine could help with the dryness and itching brought by skin conditions like eczema, rashes, hives, blemishes, scratches, psoriasis, and other conditions that would cause the skin to be inflamed.
Scientists and beauty product industries are now investing in finding out more about the effects of glycerine in the skin as it shows promising effects on the overall skin composition.
Potential risks and side effects
Despite its many praises when it comes to beauty, health, and laxative properties, there are also potential risks if you are using it without proper recommendation. Here are some of the most common side effects that you can experience if you use vegetable glycerine.
- Allergic reactions
- Nausea, headaches, excessive thirst, dizziness, and vomiting if ingested orally.
- Skin dryness
- Excessive urination
- Difficulty breathing
According to doctors, vegetable glycerine is considered as generally safe and there are no major negative effects reported from using it. However, just like any other product in the market, there could be possibilities of getting these side effects as not everyone would be comfortable with using it. Allergic reactions could be experienced so it’s best to consult your doctor if you have any underlying conditions. You could also try using it in small portions if you have it as a topical cream or product. That is to make sure that your skin would not have any reaction to it.
Where to Buy
With its touted health benefits and uses, you may be tempted to try it. You’d be surprised to know too that it could be an ingredient in one of the many products that you have at home. But it’s best to see it in the flesh, right? We have listed a few of the places online that you can buy vegetable glycerine. Feel free to check it out.
- Bulk Apothecary Vegetable Glycerine
- Make Your Own- Glycerine Vegetable Derived
- GNC Vegetable Glycerine
- Now Solutions Vegetable Glycerine (Softening and Moisturizing)
- 100% Organic Pure Vegetable Glycerine
Although a larger scale of research and studies are still needed to back all the health benefits that it claims, vegetable glycerine is now being used in almost anything in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industry. It’s best to be on the lookout for any updates regarding this but if you would like to try vegetable glycerine, it’s recommended that you use it in small amounts so that you can assess your skin’s reaction to it.