Glycerin is used as a topical agent to moisturize skin and control skin irritation, as an additive to foods and beverages, and in many cosmetic products. Glycerin has antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for adding to creams, moisturizers and lotion to alleviate dry, scaly and rough skin surfaces. It is used to congeal food substances and sweeteners, and is used to give a smooth texture to toothpaste, lotions and other personal care products too.
Glycerin is a primary ingredient in numerous topical products, including emollients, which are used to soften and moisturize inflamed and irritated skin. Glycerin acts by creating an oily layer above the surface of skin to which it is applied. This, in turn, retains water molecules and traps skin irritants, which can then be removed from the area. Glycerin also helps dead skin cells fall off, which makes skin smoother and softer. It is often used for hypo-allergenic soaps, and it thickens hair and skin care products.