Style-Delights: Memories Of The Humble Glycerin - How To Use It!

May 27, 2011

Memories Of The Humble Glycerin - How To Use It!

Oh How the mind wanders, and the things it registers in it little memory compartment! And how the sights, textures and fragrances conjure them up from your past for you to relive them anytime..I am sitting on my couch on a rainy spring afternoon in Chicago, and the fresh bouquet of sweet smelling roses on the coffee table suddenly unlocked a memory from my childhood in India - my mom giving out the fragrant potion to my sister and I before bedtime to put on our faces and hands! We smell of roses, its cold and we are in hurry to get to the warmth of our beds and to go back to our  giggle and whispers after the light is off! It was a nightly routine or my mom for years while we lived with our parents -  give a sweet kiss and sweet home-made moisturizer made with Glycerin and rosewater! I thought I would share the memory and the moisturizer with all of you here.
Glycerin is the key ingredient in most of the lotions and creams- from drugstore wonders to  expensive "Paris made" potions! Here are 5 simple ways to use pure glycerin (I prefer vegetable glycerin) to substitute or fortify your moisturizing routine.
1. As face and body lotion
Mix equal parts of glycerin and rose water and keep it refrigerated. Use it as before bed or as needed. I have always had problem skin, and most moisturizers clog my pores and made me break out. But being a humecant ( the substance that binds and retains moisture), it really keeps the skin soft without clogging the pores. Even in humid summers you can keep the skin moisturized without being sticky.
2. As toner
Mix one part glycerin, one part rosewater and one pater lemon juice and dab it on the face with cotton ball after cleaning your face. Use sunscreen if you are going out immediately after using this toner, as lemon juice makes the skin more sensitive to sun. Make it in small batches so that lemon juice does not become stale.
3. As body scrub
This one my favorite - Mix some fine granulated sugar in the glycerin to a smooth scrub-like consistency and use it as a body scrub. It really leaves the skin exfoliated and smooth - no need for body-oil after the bath!
4 .As Face mask
I had read about aspirin face mask on It said to soak 3-4 aspirin tablets in water and use the paste as the face mask. But I found the mask dried very quickly and the aspirin powder fell off in rather annoying way.  So next time I added few drops of glycerine and no more flaky aspirin powder! Word of caution here- don't use aspirin mask more than 2-3 times a week as you may absorb some aspiring in the body while using it as a mask. 
5. To fortify your favorite lotion
Add a dab of the glycerin on your palm before putting your favorite lotion or cream. It becomes Super-moisturizer! 
6. Dab with water for on the go Moisturizer
Just adding a drop of water in a drop of glycerin on your palm makes fast, simple soothing moisturizer. Just remember a little goes a long way, so just add a drop of glycerin lest you feel sticky.


  1. Ohh I remember the glycerine+rosewater+lemon juice mixture at nights too:) Even for rough and dark knees and elbows:D
    But I keep forgetting,are we supposed to leave it in or wash it off? from your post-I guess leave it in,yes?

  2. Trish, usually I leave it on (specially if using before sleep). During day time I use only Glycerin and rosewater and leave it on, but with lemon I wash it off after 30-45 minutes.

  3. Jyoti- I would love to try these! Where can I get glycerin? Do they sell it at drugstores?


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