Dear Lavera, I’d like to know why glycerin is the third ingredient in your cooling eye roll-on. An endearing little product that took care my tired eyes last week. But I read that glycerin is a soap-derived ingredient that can eventually dry out skin used over a long period of time. It’s used in a lot of moisturisers by most beauty brands. Sodium lactate – the glycerin alternative – is your fourth ingredient. But I wondered why you need glycerin if you have a natural alternative? Please help.

Answer: ‘Dear Brighter Shade of Green, thank you for putting the question forward to us and of course we don’t mind you quizzing us over our choice of ingredients. 

The glycerin used in  Lavera products is pure vegetable based, and is found in all natural fats – this is not a peteroleum-based glycerine which has a drying effect. The benefit is that it improves the skin’s moisture levels. 

The sodium lactate that Lavera uses is obtained by fermentation of wheat and also has moisturising qualities. So the natural glycerin together with the sodium lactate provide extra moisturise for the delicate eye area, which in turn enhances the anti-ageing care.’

Isn’t it great when beauty brands respond and act accountable to their product? And all within 24 hours too.

I researched a little more and found that glycerin can indeed come from different sources – synthetic glycerin is petroleum based and natural glycerin is from fats, oils and plants – mainly coconut or palm oil (sorry no time to get into the ethics of palm oil deforestation here right now).

The point is that it’s not a chemical nasty and Lavera did a fine job at answering that most efficiently. Thanks x.

2 thoughts on “Glycerin

  1. Lavera’s description of their own product sounds reasonable enough, but I think they are under a misapprehension about glycerin generally. It would be possible to derive glycerin from fossil fuels if someone put their mind to it, but I am pretty sure nobody would go to the trouble given how readily available the natural stuff is. But if they were to do so, it would have the same properties as natural glycerin, so it would not be drying.

    There is no reason I can think of to avoid glycerin as an ingredient.

    I have written an article on this subject if you are interested.


    1. Thanks for the link Colin. Was an interesting read. There are people who seem to have a problem with glycerin being hygroscopic (which means it absorbs water from other sources), claiming that as well as absorbing moisture from the air, it might absorb moisture from internal layers of the skin too (drying the skin from the inside). Is this scientifically accurate or possible?
      Other criticisms include that it softens the surface of skin but does not penetrate the moisture any deeper. Your scientific insight would be welcome!



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