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how to use glycerin for skin

How to Use Glycerin in Skincare Routines

Hyaluronic acid has been in the spotlight recently as the hydrating skincare ingredient du jour, however its sister ingredient glycerin is also deserving of some serious recognition. Glycerin in skincare can be found in many different product categories, from cleansers to rich creams. In fact, one of the only guaranteed commonalities between the wide range of glycerin skincare formulas is that they all have powerful hydrating, moisturising and skin comforting properties.

So, if glycerin in skincare products can take so many different forms, how should you actually go about including this multi-tasking ingredient in your skincare routine? This guide will answer that question through the La Roche-Posay lens of dermatologist backed science. Read on to learn the benefits of glycerin for face, how it works for your skin and how to use glycerin in skincare routines via some targeted product recommendations.

redness and glycerin


Before explaining how to use glycerin in skincare routines, let's first establish what this ingredient is. Glycerin is a skincare ingredient used for both face care and body care. The form of this ingredient found in glycerin skincare is either synthesised or derived from plant oils.

Glycerin is found in many different types of skincare products. These include cleansers, micellar water, facial moisturisers, body lotions, balms and more. Read our guide ‘What is Glycerin and is it Good for Skin?’ to learn more background information about this versatile ingredient.


Glycerin in skincare has benefits for dry skin and dehydrated skin (see our article (dry vs dehydrated skin for the difference). This is because glycerin is a powerful humectant, meaning it can attract its own weight in water from the atmosphere to the skin’s outer layer, resulting in intense hydration. Glycerin also has emollient properties, which means it helps seal in moisture and minimise dry or flaking skin – hence the popularity of glycerin for lips.

Glycerin skincare is also known for its comforting properties. That’s why La Roche-Posay has created glycerin formulas specifically for sensitive skin, like our Micellar Water Sensitive Makeup Remover, and for redness-prone skin, like our Toleriane Rosaliac AR Moisturiser for Anti-Redness.

glycerin skincare foam


When it comes to incorporating glycerin skincare into your routine, we recommend including glycerin in skincare products throughout a few steps.


Here’s an example of how to incorporate glycerin into your skincare routine for dry skin on the face and body. Start by removing any makeup from skin - soak a cotton pad in our glycerin enriched Effaclar Micellar Water Ultra Oily Skin and gently swipe it across your face.


Next, massage our Toleriane Gentle Cream Dermo-Cleanser into your complexion in circular motions, before thoroughly washing your face. The glycerin in this formula will help maintain hydration even as impurities are cleansed away.


Once you’ve achieved clean skin, it’s time to comfort and hydrate.Our Toleriane Sensitive Prebiotic Moisturiser is formulated with ceramides to support the skin moisture barrier, La Roche-Posay Thermal Water to comfort the skin and glycerin for face to provide intense hydration. Apply this moisturiser over the entire face and neck area. To finish, apply our Cicaplast Baume B5+ Balm Cream with glycerin to any very dry or sensitive patches on your face or body. This multi-tasking hydrating balm will help nourish and smooth dry, flaky skin.

retinol serum


After familiarising yourself with what glycerin is and learning how to introduce it into your routine, it’s now time to learn our expert tips for using glycerin skincare.


Glycerin don’ts

Don’t buy pure glycerin to use on your skin, as it’s too potent and can cause uncomfortable side effects

Don’t use glycerin in skincare products at the same time as vitamin C, as it can lessen the effectiveness of this potent antioxidant


Glycerin dos

Do use glycerin skincare if you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin

Do use glycerin with other hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid

Do use glycerin containing products to comfort the skin after using powerful ingredients such as retinol

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