Discover the laws of attraction with glycerine, a humectant and a carrier that locks in moisture and effective ingredients, such as essential oils, into the skin.

Where do we get it?

The glycerine purchased from our English and German manufacturing sites can come from different European suppliers, depending on availability. It is plant-based (mainly from rapeseed oil but sometimes other vegetable oils such as sunflower), GMO-free, palm-free and of excellent quality.

With seven manufacturing sites across the globe, this information may vary depending on where your Lush products were made.

How is it made?

Before the rise of new industrial techniques in 1948, all the glycerine available was obtained through soap manufacturing. Nowadays, most vegan glycerine is a byproduct of the biofuel industry. Vegetable oils undergo transesterification, a chemical process separating methyl esters (biodiesel) from crude glycerol (glycerine). Glycerine is then sold to different industries as it is a fantastic compound with many applications, including in cosmetics.

What are the benefits of glycerine?

  • Acts as a humectant
  • Hydrates the skin and hair
  • Carries other ingredients to the skin
  • Adds a sweet taste to oral care products
  • Reduces the need for synthetic preservatives
  • Can give a warm sensation on the skin

What are the benefits of a humectant?

Our skin naturally contains water, which we can easily lose due to heat, air conditioning, age, alcohol and many other factors. When the skin is dehydrated, it looks thirsty and dull. Drinking more water can be a good solution but is often not sufficient. This is where humectants turn out to be excellent allies for our skin. It's a range of ingredients that attract moisture from their environment, hold it on the skin and draw it into the deeper layers. Well-hydrated, the skin appears fresh, fuller and plumper.

An intensely marketed humectant, hyaluronic acid seems to be everywhere in cosmetic products today. However, at Lush, we think glycerine is a better option because it has a lower molecular weight and therefore penetrates the skin more efficiently.

Finally, by absorbing water into their structure, humectants create an inhospitable environment for microbes, reducing the risk of product spoilage and the need for synthetic preservatives. With its rather liquid consistency and solvent properties, glycerine can also replace the water in product formulations and thus help preserve them even more.

Isn't that sweet?

Glycerine’s name is derived from glykys, the Ancient Greek word for ‘sweet’. It makes a good sweetener and unlike sugar, it is not used as a food source by the bacteria found in the mouth, which means it does not contribute to tooth decay or plaque.

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