Have you ever put layer upon layer of body oil and rich body butters on your skin only to still have super dry skin?
And over the past year, it was getting particularly bad.
My legs were flakey. My arms were scaly. It wasn’t looking good at all.
I wasn’t sure if it was my postpartum hormones causing such dry skin, the constant daily use of mineral sunscreen, or sleeping with air conditioning that was drying out my skin (or everything combined). Whatever it was that was causing it, nothing seemed to help.
That is until I started experimenting with using glycerin.
Glycerin has become a massive game changer for me. It’s worked so well, after a few months of treating my dry skin with it, I no longer need to moisturize every day. I moisturize when I want, if I want (nowadays, maybe once every week or two). And I no longer have flakey, cracked, crepey, chalky skin. WOW!
Check out today’s video and blog post to find out how I use glycerin for dry skin on my body, and some extra tips to boost it’s effectiveness.
How I use glycerin for dry flakey skin
A few months ago I heard someone saying that using glycerin as a face mask can be very hydrating, and I thought, hmm… I’ve got a huge bottle of this stuff, why not try it on my body?
Glycerin is a humectant, so it’s suppose to draw moisture to your skin.
It acts similarly to aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and honey. I’ve always liked these hydrating ingredients for my face because they have a way of balancing my dehydrated skin without making it feel oily or greasy. I also find that if I use humectants consistently over time, my skin gets better and better, less dry, less dehydrated, more plumped, and overall healthy and brighter looking.
So I was excited to see if using the glycerin on my body, would do the same.
When I first started using it, I used it straight out of the bottle, I didn’t mix it with anything.
The first time I used it, I was surprised just how easy it was to apply, and just how little you need to cover your entire body. You need a lot less than you would an oil.
The consistency is quite unique. It reminds me a little bit of a dry oil, without it making your skin shiny or greasy. Other humectants can sometimes be sticky or tacky, or when they dry down, they can make your skin feel tight. Glycerin doesn’t quite do that. Once it’s absorbed it makes your skin hydrated and soft.
The first few weeks using glycerin for dry skin, I was using it once a day, right after showering on damp skin.
When you apply it to your skin, at first it feels a little warm (not in an irritating way). When you touch your skin after applying it, your skin feels slightly damp, as if there is a film of water coating your skin. Eventually after a good 10-20 minutes it will absorb. I never had a problem with it rubbing off on my cloths or linens, but it did feel different than anything I’ve used before. It’s not greasy or thick, but it makes your skin quite moist and takes a while to absorb, especially if your skin is damp or wet when you apply it.
I noticed when I applied it to dry skin, it absorbs much faster. There’s also a lot less residue on the surface of your skin. But, it was less hydrating than when using it on damp skin.
After using it daily for 2 weeks, my skin was looking and feeling better, much better than using an oil or cream.
After the second week, a crazy thing started to happen. All the dry skin on my arms began to peel! The peeling wasn’t like sun burn surface peeling, but rather, a thicker shedding of layers of dry skin and build up. If I rubbed my skin, all this dead skin would start coming off, revealing softer and healthier skin underneath.
I believe this happened because the glycerin was attracting a lot of moisture to my skin, which loosened up all the build up on the surface of my skin. All that build up could be what was keeping my skin so dry, not allowing anything to penetrate through it.
It was interesting to me because I regularly use a dry skin brush and body scrubs, and even though I regularly exfoliate my skin, obviously there was still a heavy layer that needed to come off. The glycerin was the only thing that could get through it.
It was only my arms that peeled. My legs and the rest of my body never peeled. But once the peeling passed (after a few days), my skin on my entire body was no longer dry, scaly, chalky or flakey.
After about a month, I started decreasing the frequency of use to every other day, and mixed in a few drops of oil with the glycerin. I wanted to see if adding oil would boost the moisturization, which it did. I also didn’t need to moisturize with anything on the days that I didn’t use the glycerin. My skin was perfectly hydrated and soft on it’s own. So as time went by, I continued to lower the frequency of use.
It’s now been about 5-6 months since I started using glycerin to treat my dry skin. I’m now only using it once a week, or once every two weeks, with a few drops of oil mixed in. That’s all I need, and my skin is perfectly balanced and hydrated on it own.
I love how soft it’s made my skin, and I especially love how little product I need to use. Before, I always felt like I was going through body oils and body butters so quickly, nothing seemed to last beyond a few weeks. Now that I’m using the glycerin combined with a few drops of my favourite body oil it, my beloved products last so much longer.
And I’m happy to say, I no longer have dry skin. When I do use the glycerin, it’s more for maintenance and not because my skin is flaking or showing signs of getting dry or scaly again.
Along with treating dry skin with glycerin, here’s a few more things that can help:
- Try bathing with cold or lukewarm water. Hot water seriously dehydrates your skin. If you don’t like cold showers, just lowering the temperature slightly can still make a difference.
- Using an oil or moisturizer in conjunction with a humectant (like glycerine) can help seal in moisture. If you’ve got super dry skin, you can try glycerin on it own and see how that goes, and if you feel you need more moisturization, than add a few drops of an oil (you don’t need a lot), or apply your moisturizer or body lotion on top of the glycerin.
- Using a dry skin brush or a body scrub at least once a week will help to remove build up off the surface of your skin to allow the glycerin and other moisturizing products to penetrate the skin better.
- Humectants like glycerin are known to draw moisture from the air to your skin. If you live in a dry climate or use indoor heating or air conditioning, you might want to get a cold water air humidifier. This will release water and moisture into the air, which can help hydrate your skin more. When I lived in Canada, I always had a cold air humidifier running at night during the cold winter months, this made a huge difference. Here in Bali, I sleep with air conditioning, and I don’t have a humidifier yet (I am definitely planning on getting one!). Even though my bedroom is very dry from the air conditioning, the glycerin still works great at hydrating and protecting my skin overnight while I sleep.
Buying glycerin, what you need to know:
Glycerin comes from many sources (including animal and synthetic sources). I recommend getting a 100% vegetable glycerin, preferably food grade.
It can be called glycerin or glycerine – don’t worry, it’s all the same!
It’s very inexpensive, and a little goes a long way.
You can get glycerin here.