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The other day as I was standing, considering my many choices of soaps in the store aisles, I noticed that several products were promoting “Glycerin” in their ingredients. Glycerin was in the hard bars of soap, liquid soaps, lotions, and I even found it in a liquid foundation for face make-up. There seemed to be a specific new labeling on the many packages I looked at. What may have always been listed in the ingredients, now, was boldly stated on the advertising label… “with Glycerin.”.

Now I started to wonder, “why the new interest in glycerin as a marketing ploy?”.. Since I was shopping mainly for soap, I asked myself, “. what exactly were the benefits of glycerin soap? Why were the manufacturers making such a big issue about glycerin?”.


A few years back, 1779 to be exact, while conducting an experiment, a Chemist discovered a by product that would later be called glycerin. Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a German-Swedish pharmaceutical chemist. While heating olive oil in an experiment, a fat compound formed and he named this “sweet principle of fat.”

Since the Greek word for sweet is “glykys.”. a Frenchman, Michel Chevreul, called this compound glycerol. This was later in 1811. Glycerol, also known as glycerin, has no odor or color and is a sweet-tasting liquid that is water soluble. In the world of chemistry, the formula is written as C3H8O3. I put that in especially for those of you who love chemistry!


Glycerin, I found in my research, is useful for numerous applications. It is an ingredient of cough syrups, expectorants, and suppositories, as well as in toothpaste and mouthwash. I was surprised that it acts as a preservative in cakes and candy. It is often used to soften yarn or fabric.

Now, as fascinating as I find this, I WAS standing in the Health and Beauty Isle looking for a mild type of soap. There were many choices, and when I saw a solid glycerin bar I was intrigued. I have sensitive skin and need something that is not filled with harsh chemicals. I can’t begin to tell you how many soaps leave me feeling dry, even chapped and itchy. So, the benefits of glycerin soap really captured my attention. I needed to know more.


Glycerin is actually derived from animal fat, or vegetable oils. With so many people choosing a Vegan lifestyle, glycerin soap made with vegetable oil is becoming a more common process. As a child growing up in the country with my extended family, I would help my Grandmother make soap with tallow (animal fat) and lye. Most soap makers today will buy a soap base or mix different oils such as palm, coconut, almond, or olive oil when making home-made soaps.

As mentioned before, Glycerin is a compound that separates from the fat or oil. Most soap will naturally have glycerin in it, but it can also be separated during the saponification process (a chemical reaction of ingredients) and be used as pure glycerin. I actually found a pure glycerin soap bar on the store shelves. Most people will be like me and buy it already made, but if a soap maker, they may use a soap base that has already been separated to make their glycerin soaps.


You might have seen some pretty glycerin soaps in specialty shops or at craft fairs. There will be pretty swirls and colors in the clear glycerin bar. The most wonderful thing about glycerin in soap is that it is gentle; a very big plus to those dealing with sensitive skin. It is a very good cleaning agent and will dissolve things easier than water or alcohol. People with acne, eczema, psoriasis will greatly benefit from the use of glycerin soap. And how lucky we are to find that this soap can be pretty!

Another wonderful quality of glycerin in soap is that it is a natural humectant. That means it draws moisture to itself. No more dry skin. It is a plus for we who have wrinkles and aging skin.

One of the benefits of glycerin soap is its natural moisturizing qualities. This natural moisturizing quality is non-greasy. Your skin will stay soft and moist for a very long time as the glycerin will continue to draw moisture to your skin surface.

Glycerin soap also has a lower pH than other soaps, which helps our skin retain its natural moisture. Regular soaps that we buy can dry out the skin with harsh chemicals. Some people’s skin will even try to make up for its dryness by creating extra oil, which clogs your skin and creates skin problems. Having a soap with a pH similar to our skin negates that problem.

For a large population of society, glycerin soap really can be our new best friend as it can help decrease or completely rid you of one very troublesome skin issue, acne.


What I realized while standing in that store isle looking at soap products is that the companies who make soap understand that we need products that make our skin happy!. The benefits of glycerin soap, while known to many before us, has now made it to the market place. Clean healthy skin begins with clean healthy products. Glycerin removes daily impurities, while rinsing clean, leaving no residue. The skin feels clean, nourished, and moisturized.


Finally, glycerin contributes to hydration and skin softening. We know that the pH is better for the balance of our natural moisture and that it cleans gently without harsh chemicals which cause drying and irritation. So one of the greatest benefits of glycerin soap, I believe, could simply be it delays the signs of aging by fighting off the wrinkles. Who would have thought a simple product like soap could keep us looking young! We all want to fight the ravages of age.

Here is a truly amazing compound first discovered in 1779 that is right for all skin types.

If you have questions let me know and we will talk.

Happy in Bubbles

Miss Linda

Making Soap Bubbles
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  1. This was interesting to me. I, too, have sensitive skin and although I have found a soap that works for me, it’s a bit boring. I always assumed that glycerine soaps would feel greasy and that they might irritate my skin. I’ll give them a try! I didn’t know that glycerine is found in so many other products, too. Thanks!

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