Monday, March 6, 2017Ingredients datasheets

Datasheet: Glycerin

© CosmeticOBS - L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

This datasheet contains exhaustive basic information: chemical identification, technical data, functions, origins, regulations, safety, trade names and suppliers, formulation tips… Find out everything about this cosmetic ingredient with a single click.

Reading time
~ 4 minutes

Name : Glycerin

English name
CE No.


  • Plant
  • Synthetic
  • Animal


CosIng functions

  1. Moisturizing Agent
  2. Humectant
  3. Denaturant
  4. Solvent
  5. Hair Conditioning Agent
  6. Oral Care Agent
  7. Skin Protecting Agent
  8. Viscosity Controlling Agent


No restriction nor condition for use

Knowledge to date

Glycerol (commonly known as ‘glycerin’) is a polyol (a family of sweetening agents) which appears in the form of a viscous, colourless, odourless liquid, but with an extremely sweet flavour, almost bitter.
If it is originally a by-product of oil saponification (used to manufacture soap), it is now usually obtained with the synthesis of petrochemical derivatives, but it can also be of animal or natural origin.
It is widely used in the cosmetics industry as a very good emollient and moisturizer, but also for its properties as an odourless solvent.

Tox profile

Repeatedly ingested in large quantities, glycerol may trigger intestinal disorders and damage kidneys. But its use in low quantities was deemed safe enough for it to be added to the list of authorized food additives, as a bulking agent, wetting agent, solvent, and carrier of food additives – it is referred …

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