Glycerin 101 (2023)

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August 17, 2020 3 Comments

Glycerin is one of my favorite additives when I'm dyeing flowers (if I'm venturing outside of my normal water to paint mixture)! But – I often get questions about what glycerin does and how to use it properly. So I wanted to answer all of your questions and give you our favorite glycerin tips!

Glycerin 101 (1)

If you are a visual learner, check out the YouTube video I did on this topic! If you want an easy to follow guidelines blog on glycerin, keep reading below!

What is glycerin?

Glycerin is an ingredient that is widely used in both skincare products and cosmetics. In fact, there’s a good chance you have glycerin on you right now! It’s derived from vegetable oils and is used as a hydrating agent.

There are a lot of glycerin options out there so here is a link to my preferred brand!

What glycerin can do for your wood flowers

If you paint your flowers without glycerin, you’ll notice that they tend to dry out. They can be a little brittle and tender and can even crack the flowers if you’re too rough with them.

(Video) glycerin 101 for crafters!

Adding glycerin to your paint mixture will give your flowers more softness and pliability. You can even squish a flower with glycerin and it will be fine! Just be careful not to overdo your glycerin. Then, your flowers will feel like they’re never finished drying and may have an oily texture on the outside.

The OYL preferred ratio

After extensive testing, I have found that my preferred water to glycerin ratio is 8 to 1. I have experimented with more glycerin, played with less glycerin and for the desired effect of soft and pliable, 8 to 1 water to glycerin is the way to go!

How Do I Use It?

Method 1: mixing it with your paint

Add ½ cup of glycerin to 4 cups of water in a resealable container. Remember: glycerin is thick and syrupy so you may need a popsicle stick to get everything out!

Mix it all around thoroughly. You’ll see the mixture start to get cloudy. That’s the glycerin mixing with the water.

Once you’re done, use this in place of water when mixing your paint (I prefer acrylic but you can also use latex paint). Then, dip-dye as you normally would for soft, pliable flowers!

A few quick notes:

  • I like to shake up the mixture before I’m about to use it to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  • You can use distilled water if you want, but tap water is fine.
  • Room temperature water is a-ok. There’s no need to boil or heat the water before mixing.

Give the flowers 24 hours to dry before use.

Method 2: a post-mix spray

Suppose you dip-dyed your flowers without using a glycerin mixture. Later, you realized that your flowers were a little brittle and tender. What do you do?

You can make a glycerin mix using the same ratio as we’ve posted above (8:1) and put it in a spray bottle! Take your flower and spray it liberally. Don’t worry about over-spraying: we haven’t found the glycerin spray mixture to make the paint run or transfer.

And don’t worry if you get some on your hands! It will actually make your hands feel nice and soft (crafty bonus right there!)

Around 24 hours later, your flowers should be dry and ready for crafting!

(Video) How To Make Homemade Special Edible Gummies With Vegetable Glycerine 101

Things to remember

Don't be afraid to experiment! While I found that the 8:1 ratio was perfect for me, feel free to experiment with your own ratios! Just remember that adding more glycerin could increase your drying time, and adding too much could make it feel like the flowers are never quite dry.

We have only ever used vegetable based glycerin. Another alternative some sola artists like is using dawn dish soap as a softener. We didn't have the best results with that so prefer to use glycerin as our softener.

A super-important note: your airbrush is not made for glycerin so please don't use them together! Airbrushing doesn’t saturate your flowers in the same way dip-dyeing does so airbrushing should already make your flowers softer and closer to the texture of a raw flower. If you do want to use glycerin with airbrushed flowers, simply use the spray method detailed above after the paint has dried.

And that’s it! Here’s hoping all your flowers are soft, pliable, and squishy in the future. Happy crafting!

**If the listing is for an amazon link this is an affiliate link. It costs you nothing but OYL will get a small percentage from the sale if you decide to purchase. Thank you!


3 Responses

Glycerin 101 (2)


November 30, 2020

This is super helpful! I can’t wait to start dying my flowers! Is there a certain brand glycerin you recommend? And where is the best place to get it? I found a bunch on Amazon, but I don’t want to buy the wrong thing and ruin the flowers! Thank you!

Glycerin 101 (3)

Marcia Jones

October 05, 2020

Oh so glad I found your site!!

(Video) How to Make Liquid Glycerin Castile Soap {from scratch} | Soaping101

Glycerin 101 (4)

Bobbie Hanson

August 21, 2020

I like the 1:8 ratio too! It has been wonderful to help the flowers stay pliable during shipping and also for snuggling and nuzzling the flowers into crafts. Thank you for the info!

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What is glycerin used for? ›

Common uses

Glycerin is a common ingredient in pharmaceutical drugs, including heart medication, suppositories, cough remedies and anesthetics. Additionally, you can find vegetable glycerin in toothpaste, as it helps prevent the toothpaste from drying out or hardening in the tube.

Is glycerin harmful to human? ›

Glycerin is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Should you avoid glycerin in hair products? ›

Glycerin is safe to use on hair. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates glycerin as an A on their scale, meaning it isn't an ingredient of concern to human health or the environment.

What does glycerin do to the skin? ›

Glycerin is great for the skin because it acts as a humectant, which is a substance that allows the skin to retain moisture. It can increase skin hydration, relieve dryness, and refresh the skin's surface. It's also an emollient, which means it can soften skin.

Can you apply glycerin directly to skin? ›

Yes, glycerin is completely safe for skin. Just remember that when using it in DIY skincare, it's best to dilute pure glycerin with other ingredients or products, like rosewater or vitamin E, to prevent irritation.

Does glycerin have side effects? ›

When taken by mouth: Glycerol is possibly safe when used short-term. Side effects might include headaches, dizziness, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. When applied to the skin: Glycerol is likely safe. It might cause redness, itching, and burning.

Is glycerin a toxic ingredient? ›

Glycerin, also known as glycerol and glycerine, is a non-toxic odorless, colorless viscous liquid that is slightly sweet tasting. It is commonly used in food, personal care, and pharmaceutical products as a humectant and/or moistener.

How safe is glycerin? ›

Glycerin's safety has been reviewed and confirmed for use in food by health authorities around the world, including the World Health Organization, the European Union, and countries such as Australia, Canada and Japan. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also declared glycerin safe for consumption.

What is glycerin made out of? ›

What is Glycerin? Glycerin—also called glycerol and glycerine— is a colorless, odorless, viscous, and hygroscopic liquid that is non-toxic and non-allergenic. It is made of three carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and three oxygen atoms, giving it the formula of C3H8O3.

Does glycerin cause hairloss? ›

Derived from natural plant seed oil sources such as coconut, palm or soy, glycerin is pure and nontoxic. It moisturizes and is known to prevent breakage, especially on hair that isn't chemically treated.

Why avoid glycerin? ›

When to avoid using products containing glycerin? If the atmosphere is drier than your hair, the air will draw moisture from your hair, to help balance the moisture in the atmosphere. This is usually in dry climates with low humidity and dew points, and you should avoid using products that contain glycerin.

Does glycerin help hair growth? ›

Retains moisture: Just like the skin, hair needs moisture too, and glycerin hydrates the hair and scalp. It softens and smoothens hair by drawing moisture from the atmosphere into the hair. 2. Improves hair length: Since glycerin adequately hydrates the hair, it prevents breakage and you will be grow out longer hair.

Does glycerin remove dark circles? ›

Glycerine: Glycerin is a magical ingredient which helps you get rid of dark circles and leaves your under eye skin area fresh and smooth.

Does glycerin tighten skin? ›

Skin tightening

Glycerine tightens your pores. Add a few drops of glycerine to 5 tablespoons of rose water and store in the refrigerator in an airtight bottle. Rub this lotion into your skin relieve dry skin and cracked skin on the face, arms and feet. This lotion can also be applied on acne-prone skin.

Does glycerin make you look younger? ›

Keeps skin looking youthful

By drawing moisture to the top layer of your skin, glycerin can help to reduce the appearance of lines and fine wrinkles to keep your complexion looking smoother for longer. It effectively plumps it out a little.

Can I leave pure glycerin on my face overnight? ›

Glycerin is a humectant. It attracts moisture from the environment and the inner layers of your skin. Using it overnight for months together can also dry up the inner layers of your skin and eventually result in skin aging. Leaving it on for 15-20 minutes and washing it off before going to bed is the best option.

When should I apply glycerin? ›

Apply it on your face at night and wash it off in the morning. 3. Glycerin gently removes dirt, oils and make-up from your skin. You could also make a homemade facial cleanser by mixing half a cup of water with one and a half tablespoons each of glycerin and cornflour in an ovenproof glass jar.

Does glycerin clog pores? ›

Both animal and vegetable glycerine are non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores or cause breakouts. In fact, glycerin can help to treat acne by drawing water into the skin and keeping it with a healthy glow, while giving it an oil-free sensation.

Does glycerin raise blood pressure? ›

Following glycerol ingestion, a transient, non-significant increase occurred in blood pressure.

Is glycerin a carcinogen? ›

It is concluded that glycerol does not increase number or incidence of lung tumors in the mouse strains used, whether the animals are pretreated with a carcinogen or not. Glycerol does not affect liver tumor development.

Is glycerin worse than sugar? ›

But as it's typically used, to keep foods fresh or as a low-glycemic sweetener, glycerin is generally safe. It is not, however, calorie-free. In fact, glycerin contains slightly more calories than sugar—and it's only about 60% as sweet, so you might need slightly more to get the equivalent sweetness.

Is glycerin approved by FDA? ›

The FDA classifies glycerol as "generally recognized as safe". Glycerin is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a sweetener in syrups, lozenges, and as an excipient in eyewash solutions.

Is glycerin all natural? ›

Glycerin can come from natural or synthetic sources. Some sources of synthetic glycerin have come under fire for being dangerous for your health, and it's considered by many to not be preferred for cosmetic purposes. Natural sources of glycerin include animal fats and plant oils like shea butter or coconut oil.

Why is it called glycerin? ›

Glycerine, also called glycerol, has moisturizing, emollient and protective properties. Its name comes from the Greek “glykerós” which means sweet. It comes in the form of a sweet, soft, colourless and odourless liquid.

Does glycerin cause hair growth on face? ›

Glycerine itself won't make your hair grow, but it can aid in moisturizing hair, which can help with hair growth.

Can I leave glycerin on my hair overnight? ›

Glycerin products are safe to use overnight, just make sure it's diluted. When should I stop using glycerin on my hair? You may notice that in environments that are extremely humid, your hair gets big and frizzy.

Can I apply glycerine on my face? ›

You can use glycerin as a moisturizer but keep in mind that using only glycerin on the face might not be a good idea because it is thick. It attracts dust which may lead to acne and pimples. You should always dilute it. You can dilute it with water or a little bit of rose water before applying it to the face.

What does glycerin do to the brain? ›

Glycerol is a hyperosmolar agent that is claimed to reduce infarct‐related oedema without rebound effect (Cantore 1964), to increase cerebral blood flow, and to improve cerebral metabolism by recoupling the uncoupled oxidative phosphorylation in the ischaemic brain tissue (Meyer 1972; Meyer 1975).

Can I use glycerin as lube? ›

The truth is high-quality vegan glycerin makes great water-based lube. It lasts longer, has excellent texture, no crusty residue and provides the most natural feeling that you can get next to a woman's natural lubrication.

Does glycerin thicken hair? ›

Glycerin thickens hair and improves thinning hair. Remedy for an itchy scalp: Benefits of glycerin for hair has excellent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that reduce itchiness in the scalp. This makes glycerin good for hair in a very effective way.

Can I add glycerin to my shampoo? ›

Glycerin is a universal ingredient that can be used by you irrespective of your scalp and hair type. However, if you have dry and frizzy hair or an itchy scalp, using glycerin can really help improve your scalp health and hair texture.

How do you apply glycerin to hair and skin? ›

Glycerin is one of the best natural conditioners for the hair. You can add glycerin into your conditioner in the ratio of 1:5. Mix it thoroughly and apply it to wet hair after shampooing. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes and rinse off with plain water.

Can I use glycerine under my eyes? ›

Eyes: Using glycerine as an under-eye cream at night, helps get rid of dark circles and leaves your under-eye skin fresh and smooth. It is better than most regenerating creams available in the market.

Is it good to put vaseline under your eyes at night? ›

You simply dab some onto the fragile skin under your eyes each night in place of eye cream to lock in moisture. The added hydration plumps up skin and can help reduce fine lines. As an occlusive product, Vaseline creates a physical barrier that keeps moisture in.

Is glycerin good for Crepey skin? ›

Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, recommends products with glycerin or hyaluronic acid to prevent or improve the appearance of crepey skin. These ingredients pull in and hold moisture so your skin stays hydrated and looks plump.

Does glycerin build collagen? ›

Glycerin in hand cream & body moisturizers not only moisturizes dry skin but is best for skin that is dry and thirsty. Also, it revitalizes the skin cells and boosts collagen production to make the skin look younger and fairer.

Does glycerin boost collagen? ›

Anti-Ageing: It stabilises collagen and accelerates healing.

Is glycerin good for anti aging? ›

Glycerin is an incredible source of moisture that helps retain it in your skin. Not only does it help reduce dryness, but it also helps improve the appearance of your skin by helping to improve its tone and elasticity, thereby reducing wrinkles!

Is glycerin better than hyaluronic acid? ›

What Is Better – Glycerin or Hyaluronic Acid? Go for glycerin if you're looking to add moisture, bounce and balance. To lock in hydration you have, hyaluronic acid is the best go-to. HA is more likely to stop dry skin from getting worse, making it a great dry skin treatment, while glycerin adds moisture.

Why do bodybuilders drink glycerine? ›

Glycerol's osmoprotective solute quality can be used to improve physical endurance. The reduction in serum blood osmolality and the effects on ionic gradients caused by glycerol ingestion delay fatigue; therefore, endurance and athletic performance are improved (Hitchins et al., 1999).

When should I use glycerin free hair products? ›

Glycerin, along with other humectants, is usually what's causing problems in humid weather. So this is a great time to use styling products that don't have glycerin or other humectants. It is also great to use anti-humidity ingredients and emollients.

What can I use instead of glycerin for hair? ›

  • Corn Syrup.
  • Maple Syrup.
  • Honey.
  • Sodium Lactate.
  • Vegetable Oil (Vegetable Substitute for Glycerin)
Feb 20, 2023

Why does glycerin make my hair dry? ›

In weather that is extremely dry, glycerin will seek out moisture from your hair and actually dehydrate it, which can cause damage and breakage. Read more about this.

Is glycerin heavy on hair? ›

Glycerin is heavy in humectants, which are made to pull moisture into the hair and retain it. However, it also works the other way.

Does glycerin make hair sticky? ›

If you have extremely dry hair glycerin can be your best friend, when used correctly. Too much glycerin if not correctly diluted can leave the hair feeling sticky due to the thick viscosity of the ingredient.

How do you make homemade glycerin? ›

Take a saucepan, add one cup of coconut oil and olive oil in it. Keep it on low flame and gradually add 1 tsp lye and 1 cup water. Heat the mixture for 15 minutes and keep stirring till the mixture thickens. As tracing reflects in the pan, add 1/2 cup salt and allow the mixture to cool.

Does coconut oil have glycerin? ›

Coconut oil generates more glycerol (13.5%) than most other oils and fats (from 9 to 12%).

Can I use castor oil instead of glycerin? ›

Like Glycerin, Castor Oil is also a humectant, meaning that under the right circumstances, it can draw in moisture, providing extra intensity for dry skin formulas. This makes Castor Oil an ideal ingredient in diaper ointments and lip products.


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