What is glycerin and why it is such a popular ingredient
Also known as glycerol, glycerin is a natural by-product of saponification, the result of the reaction between oil and alkaline, where soap and glycerol are formed.
Glycerin can also be created from tallow or GMO sources. However, at Stephenson only food grade, vegetable-derived natural glycerin is used in the soap making process. Glycerin is also a beneficial ingredient in liquid soaps, especially haircare products. Shampoos containing glycerin can lock in moisture and the ingredient is ideal for producing shampoos created for dry hair types.
All the glycerin produced by Stephenson originates from vegetable sources, making many of our products suitable for vegetarians and vegans, an important factor for many consumers as these lifestyle choices continue to grow in popularity.
The properties of glycerin make it a hugely desirable and versatile ingredient for many applications including cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food, crafts etc. There is a multitude of benefits of adding glycerin to soap bases.
What are the key qualities and benefits of glycerin soaps?
Soaps vary massively in terms of their ingredients. The unique quality of glycerin soaps is their effectiveness and suitability for different kinds of skin - by helping to keep skin healthy and moisturised. Thus, glycerin is one of the most important and widely used ingredients in skincare formulations and sought after by consumers as it offers moisturisation benefits. Due to this quality, glycerin soaps provide needed hydration for the skin - helping to reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and tears.
Also, unlike some soaps that dry the skin out and make it feel tight and flaky, glycerin soap keeps skin feeling clean and hydrated for several hours after washing. As part of any skincare regime, regular glycerin soap use can help skin become smoother and suppler. Although glycerin soap is a great body cleanser, using it on the face provides additional benefits. Using harsh soaps that dry out the face often results in the skin trying to compensate for any dryness by creating extra oil, blocking pores and leading to skin problems.
Glycerin soaps can be completely natural and as a result, are particularly beneficial for people with sensitive skin types. Synthetic ingredients can create skin complications or irritate the skin leading to further problems. It can even be used with chronic skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis, acne and psoriasis, while glycerin soaps are non-irritant and don’t cause any negative reactions like normal soaps.
Glycerin is also a beneficial ingredient in liquid soaps and haircare products. Shampoos containing glycerin can lock in moisture, making it ideal for the manufacture of shampoos created for dry hair types.
Glycerin is water-soluble, odourless and colourless - thus providing versatility in soaps, allowing for creating fragrance lift and desired colour products in soap and other personal care products.
Photo Credit: Jernej Graj (Unsplash)
Glycerin soap bars – provide product variation
Natural glycerin is typically found in Stephenson Melt and Pour soap bases but also as an added ingredient due to its excellent moisturising properties. Stephenson’s melt and pour soap bases contain high contents of glycerin, typically at around 15-25%, where around 5% of the total glycerin content is a natural by-product of saponification with the rest of the ingredients deriving from oils and/or fatty acids.
Stephenson works closely with formulators and manufacturers from small craft entrepreneurs to major cosmetics brands to ensure their soap and skincare products are meeting the needs of consumers. A wide range of Melt and Pour soap base varieties are available each specially formulated to meet specific market demands whether that’s for a crystal clear appearance, a low pH or certified to organic standards. Accreditation to ISO9001 and ISO14001 ensure quality production and service to the highest standards.
Natural glycerine soap bases with added ingredients provide the most aesthetic of soaps on the market.
Stephenson glycerin soap bases
One of the most popular Stephenson glycerin soap bases is Crystal ST, a vegetable derived clear Melt and Pour base that can produce clear soap bars and embeds. Similarly, Crystal NS and Crystal WNS can be used for creating low sweat clear and opaque soap bars for countries with moist climates to prevent soaps from sweating (read more here).
Glycerin soaps from Stephenson are vegan (except for Crystal Donkey Milk, Crystal Goat’s Milk and Crystal Honey), gluten-free (except for Crystal Oatmeal and Shea) and all are not tested on animals.
If you want to find out more about our glycerin melt and pour soap bases please get in touch here.