How To Use Glycerin To Control Excess Oil Production For Acne-Prone Skin

Let’s face it- has glycerin ever crossed your mind when battling acne-prone skin or pondering ways to control excess oil? Chances are, it hasn’t. But you’re not to blame because glycerin is a natural humectant, which is often marketed as a life-saver for dry skin! However, glycerin holds secrets that extend beyond hydrating skin. Surprisingly versatile and effective, glycerin offers benefits to all skin types- be it dry, oily, combination, or even sensitive. 

We all get acne, especially before a special event, photoshoot, or a most awaited holiday. It’s something that probably every one of us has been doomed with at some point in our lives. While some of us may be lucky to get once-in-a-blue-moon visits of acne, there are still many who struggle with them frequently. Now, having acne doesn’t always mean that you have poor hygiene or you may not be cleansing your face as often- it’s rather about how you are nourishing your skin. It’s more about what you are feeding your skin to keep it healthy and glowing. Also, this is the reason why it’s important to know about your skin type and learn about what suits you best.

Nevertheless, if you’re someone who struggles with oil control and wants to learn how to use glycerin for acne-prone skin, then you have dropped at the right place. With this blog, we’ll help you to get equipped with glycerin skin benefits, so that you can get that oil-free skin!

But first, we’ll get to know what oily skin is.

Understanding The Battle: Signs Of An Oily Skin

Having oily skin doesn’t go unnoticed, which makes the bearer aware that their skin may not be normal. However, if you’re still uncertain, we’re here to help! Below, we’ve outlined signs of oily skin. If you resonate with most of the statements mentioned, then you’re likely to have oily skin.

  1. Shiny Complexion: It’s a trademark of people with oily skin; their face appears shiny or greasy (especially in the T-zone) even if they’ve nothing on. This shine comes due to excessive oil (sebum production), which is known to balance skin’s moisture. 
  2. Enlarged Pores: Pores are responsible for delivering sweat and oil to the surface of the skin. Now, in some people, these pores may appear enlarged, which could happen due to numerous reasons- having excessive oil is also one of them.1
  3. Frequent Breakouts: As it’s a mystery to none, having oily skin often means that you’re more prone to acne. This is because excessive oil secretion can clog pores when combined with dead skin cells and bacteria.2
  4. Makeup Doesn’t Stay Put: People with oily skin often face difficulty in keeping their makeup on. Since they experience excess oil, the makeup tends to get off easily.
  5. Blackheads And Whiteheads: Oily skin is often associated with the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. These formations are types of non-inflammatory acne lesions that are caused by clogged pores.3,4 
  6. Feeling Greasy: People who have oily skin tend to feel a layer of oil and sebum on their face, particularly during midday. The greasy sensation is a common marker of overactive sebaceous glands.5
  7. Severe Acne During Puberty: Oily skin is more common during puberty due to hormonal fluctuation; that’s why adolescents may experience an increase in acne.6

So, did you do a check on yourself? What did your prognosis say? Guilty of having oily skin? If it’s yes, then don’t worry, dear! We’re here to help, but first, let’s learn a little about the reason for excess oil production. 

Understanding The Battle: What Causes Excess Oil Production In Acne-Prone Skin? 

Before we understand how you can use glycerin for skin, you need to get into the basics, such as what causes excess oil production.  Now, there are “n” a number of things that lead to excess oil production- and acne; it could be hormonal, genetic, and even stress. 

Let’s break down each cause of the excess oil production in the following:7 

  1. Age Matters

Mark our words: Your skin will not remain the same forever! So, no matter if your skin is dry, oily, etc., over age, it’s bound to change. For instance, at the time of birth, your sebaceous glands are very much present, but they don’t come into action until your puberty. Similarly, when you grow older, the action of sebaceous glands declines, leaving you with comparatively drier skin.8,9  

Hence, if you’re peaking in your adolescence then you’re more likely to get acne from oily skin!

  1. What’s Your Diet? 

You know, your diet reflects every aspect of your life and well-being, the same is true for your skin. So apart from keeping yourself hydrated by drinking water, eating high fiber, protein, etc., also matters. It is suggested by the experts that consuming a diet that keeps blood sugar levels low, could be helpful in low sebum production- leading to less oily skin. 

All in all, having a diet that isn’t healthy can also lead to excessive oil production, which can contribute to causing acne. 

  1. Environmental Factors Causing Sebaceous Havocs

Our skin is the largest organ, which is also in simultaneous contact with the outer world, which is why it’s the first one to react to environmental factors. In short, your skin reacts to the climate changes around you. You may have also noticed that during summer, your skin will have secretion oil in excess, while when you visit a colder place or in winter, it may not be as bad. 

This means your skin will likely get more oily in humid and tropical climates as compared to cool, dry, or temperate regions. That means the probability of you developing acne is higher in hot and humid regions (if you have oily skin).

  1. Genetics

Just like your height, eye color, or hair type, the tendency to have oily skin is often linked to your family genetics. That’s why, for some people, having overactive sebaceous glands is a hereditary trait that results in oily skin and acne.

  1. Hormones At Play!

As read earlier, hormones do play a role in oil production at more than one stage in some individuals- one of which is menstruation. If you menstruate, then you’re more likely to have highly active sebaceous glands (causing oily skin) during the post-ovulation and pre-menstruation periods of your cycle. Therefore, if you get menstrual periods, then your skin will be highly active (at least once a month) which will potentially cause acne.

We know after learning all of the potential reasons behind “YOUR” excessive oil production, you must be worried. Don’t fret! Because you can put a control on your oily skin. Wondering how? With a little magic called glycerin! 

Now, before you get questions like “How do you use glycerin for acne-prone skin? Can glycerin control acne? Can I use glycerin for acne?” allow us to familiarize you with glycerin first. And then introduce you to glycerin skin benefits

Everything You Need To Know About Glycerin

Glycerin/glycerine /glycerol is an odorless, colorless yet sweet-tasting substance. It is produced when triglycerides (type of fat) are hydrolyzed. Also, for more than 150 years, glycerin was produced as a by-product of soap manufacturing. However, now they’re simply produced by melting fats (plant or animal-based) with a strong alkali.10

A Little History Of Glycerin

Glycerin was first isolated in the year 1783 by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Before the nomenclature of glycerin, it was initially described as the “sweet principle of fat” by Scheele. Later on, the term “glycerin” was introduced by another chemist, hailing from France- whose name was Michel-Eugéne Chevreul.11  

What Makes Glycerin Unique?

Glycerin has a unique property, which makes it a perfect natural humectant. A humectant is a substance that can extract moisture (water) from the air and retain it.12 Additionally, glycerin is also non-comedogenic, which means that it doesn’t clog pores. 

Simply put, glycerin not only helps you keep your skin soft, moisturized, and smooth, but it is also oil-free! 

Now that you have learned the basics about glycerin let’s discuss exactly how it can help you battle oily skin.

Glycerin: Friend To Your Skin And Foe To Acne!

You must have heard that “appearances can be deceptive.” Well, the same holds true for glycerin. Due to its sticky consistency, there’s a common misconception that applying it to oily skin will exacerbate issues like acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. However, this is far from the truth. Glycerin, being a humectant, makes it a dependable moisturizer – not only for those grappling with dry skin but also for individuals with oily skin.

Let’s take a look at how glycerin could be the best skincare tool in your collection: 

  1. It’s Moisturizing!

People tend to believe that oily skin doesn’t need much moisturizing- which is wrong! Every skin type needs to be moisturized! Nevertheless, yes, which kind of products you’re using on your skin can affect your skin. 

For instance, if you have oily skin, then using products that cover your pores and don’t let them breathe can worsen your acne. On the contrary, using glycerin can help you maintain your skin’s moisture while keeping acne away!

  1. It Protects The Skin

Individuals who struggle with oily skin are more likely to develop acne, pimples, etc, when they come in contact with bacteria, dead skin cells, dust particles, and pollution. It is so because their skin has overactive sebaceous glands, which become the melting pot of oil and all the other elements. In such a scenario, people with oily skin need to protect their skin by applying a layer of protection. And here’s where glycerin comes into the picture. 

When you apply glycerin on your skin, it acts as a protective barrier that helps keep dust, pollution, and even UV rays ( to some extent) away from your skin. So, it proves that applying glycerin will not only protect your skin from the outer elements but from the acne too.

  1. Helps With Acne

Glycerin helps with acne by the action of protecting your skin from acne-causing bacteria. Since glycerin is capable of putting a layer of protection on your skin, it simply keeps the bacteria out of your facial pores. Moreover, glycerin is also known to have healing properties, which can be proven beneficial in cases when someone has acne scars, blemishes, etc. 

  1. A Gentle Cleanser

Most cleansers strip away the natural oils from your skin, leaving your skin all dry. This oftentimes leads to excessive release of oil and potential acne. However, if your cleanser has glycerin in it, then your face will be cleansed without losing its moisture, which will also give you well-balanced, non-oily, and acne-free skin.

Now that you’re all decked up with the glycerin skin benefits, you must be excited to use it yourself. Anyhow, before you get yourself to try it for yourself, we’d advise you to talk to your healthcare provider once. Just so, they can help you understand its cons (if any) with respect to your specific skin type.

How To Use Glycerin For Oily Skin: A Guide

Glycerin gives you endless possibilities to use it. However, it’s up to you to go forward with an ideal application method for your skin, that not only helps you get rid of oily skin and acne. But also nourishes, smoothens, and moisturizes it.

In the following, we’ve summarized a few of glycerin’s uses for oily skin, which you can include in your skincare regimen!

  1. As A Moisturizer
  • Glycerin is a humectant, which means it can draw moisture from the air into the skin. This makes it an excellent moisturizer for oily skin, as it can help to hydrate the skin without adding excess oil. 
  • To use glycerin as a moisturizer, simply apply a small amount of pure glycerin to damp skin after cleansing. Using glycerin as a moisturizer will make your skin oil-balanced and may also help you avoid acne.
  1. As A Toner
  • Glycerin can also be used as a toner to help control oil production and balance the skin’s pH levels. 
  • To use glycerin as a toner, dilute glycerin with rose water or witch hazel in a spray bottle and mist it onto your face after cleansing. You can also use this glycerin toner by putting it on a cotton pad and then gently sweeping/ dabbing it across your face.
  1. As A Spot Treatment
  • Glycerin can also be used as a spot treatment for acne breakouts. To use glycerin as a spot treatment, apply a small amount of pure glycerin to the affected area using a cotton swab.
  1. As A Face Mask
  • Glycerin can also be incorporated into face masks to help hydrate and soothe oily skin. 
  • To make a glycerin face mask, mix one tablespoon of glycerin with one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of yogurt. Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Inculcating glycerin in the above-mentioned ways will moisturize your skin, plus it can help you get your face oil-balanced and get rid of acne. However, to get the desired results, you need to add glycerin in any of the 1 steps (adding glycerin in more than one step is not advised) for at least a few weeks.

Final Takeaway!

We really hope that by going through this blog, you have gained valuable insights on how to use glycerin for acne-prone skin and what causes acne in the first place! Moreover, if you use glycerin in any of the above forms, then you’re likely to control excess oil production, which can lead to better, clearer skin! So what are you waiting for? Your better skin is just one step away!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific skin condition or health concerns. The content in this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Any reliance you place on the information from this blog is at your own risk. We do not endorse or guarantee the efficacy of any specific skincare products or treatments mentioned in this blog. Individual results may vary. If you have a medical emergency or a severe skin condition, seek immediate medical attention.



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