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What Is Glycerin?

Glycerin is a think, colorless liquid that has a sweet taste. This liquid, which possesses a high boiling point and turns into a paste when frozen, is a common ingredient in such products as soap and lotions. But it also used in making dynamite in its nitroglycerin form.

Glycerin’s property as a humectants is the reason why it is a very popular ingredient in beauty products. Humectants are able to bring in moisture to the skin, which helps in softening and moisturizing it. Glycerin is widely used when making soaps, but surprisingly, it is also a by product of the soap making process. Soap manufacturers would extract glycerin when they are making soaps and then uses what they have extracted for use in their other products, while at the same time leaving some glycerin on the soap that was originally being made. More glycerin could be added to the soap as a way of making the final product produce a clear finish. The added glycerin also makes the soap imbibe more moisturizing properties.

Glycerin is easily dissolved in alcohol and water, but it has a hard time doing so when oil is used. Glycerol is the pure chemical element of glycerin and the name indicates that this form is an alcohol.
One of glycerin’s properties is being hygroscopic, which means that it can absorb moisture or water from the air. Glycerin that is left open will absorb water from the atmosphere and eventually turn into 20 percent water and 80 percent glycerin. Glycerin also dehydrates, that’s why if a small amount of glycerin is placed on the tongue, it will blister.

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