chapter  20
18 Pages

Glycerol — Just a Moisturizer? Biological and Biophysical Effects

WithJoachim W. Fluhr, Anja Bornkessel, Enzo Berardesca

Gylcerol was discovered in 1779 by the Swedish chemist Scheele and is among the most effective humectant polyols such as sorbitol and mannitol. It is a versatile chemical, and moisturization is due to its high degree of hydroxyl groups, which bind and retain water. Glycerol is found in baby care products and in embalming fluids used by morticians, in glues and explosives; in throat lozenges and in suppositories. Glycerol is a colorless, viscous liquid, and stable under most conditions. Glycerin is nontoxic, easily digested, and is environmentally safe. It has a pleasant taste and odor, which makes it an ideal ingredient in food and cosmetic applications.1