Make Your Own Glycerin Skin Moisturizer


I love learning new things from my readers and fellow bloggers.  I received a very helpful comment from a reader after I did my post on how to make a Homemade Hot Oil Hand Treatment.  The comment was from Kathryn who is author of the blog This ‘n That From on the Mountain.  She wrote to share her recipe for a good skin moisturizer that she loves.  Here’s an excerpt from her comment:

“We live in the mountains in CA.  It is very, very dry here.  I’ve found the most wonderful moisturizer after much looking and agonizing.  The original recipe is simple:  1 part vegetable glycerin (I usually do 1/2 cup) to 4 parts distilled water (2 cups).  Mix.  Put in a spray bottle.  If you find it a bit sticky, add a bit more water”.

Kathryn went on to say that she has also used aloe vera juice for most of the liquid part, and that you can  add an essential oil for some fragrance too.  She also wrote that:

“My dry skin issues are all resolved since I began making this about 2-1/2 years ago.  I keep some in the tub and spray it all over after my shower.”

Well, I was super intrigued by this.  My skin tends to be dry and winters here in Michigan are long and pretty drying on the skin.  Sometimes in the coldest parts of the winter when my skin feels all chapped and dry, I just slather straight vaseline on my hands before bed.  It’s cheap and pretty effective, but a little on the greasy side.  Kathryn’s recipe sounded like a great alternative to that approach and I decided to give it a try.

Homemade Glycerin Moisturizer

The Key Ingredient:  Glycerin
The  most challenging part of this recipe for some folks might be finding the glycerin.  I already had some glycerin in the house, but I remember on that shopping trip I had to hunt around for a while to locate it.  I was able to find it in the pharmacy area of my local store (Meijer) nearby things like witch hazel and bandaids.  A 6 oz bottle cost $3.27.

Glycerin is a clear syrupy liquid that’s made by combining liquid and fats derived from vegetable oil.  What’s cool about glycerin is that it has water binding capabilities which allow it to draw and absorb moisture from the air which in turn can help skin retain moisture.  The label on my little bottle of glycerin calls it a “skin protectant” and a “pure natural skin softener”.

Here’s what I did  (Just remember it’s one part glycerin to four parts water).  I also didn’t have any distilled water on hand so I simply used my filtered water from my Brita water pitcher.  Plain old tap water would probably work OK too.



  • 1/4 cup glycerin

  • 1 cup filtered or distilled water

  • 1/4 teaspoon essential oil (optional)

  • Small spray/mist bottle

Combine the ingredients in the spray/mist bottle and shake gently to mix.  Spray on and rub to smooth it over skin.

The essential oil is optional for a bit of fragrance.  Often times I don’t bother with the essential oil but once in a while a scent like lavender adds a very nice touch

Update:  Since first writing this post I have found that I much prefer the mist bottles to the spray bottles for this glycerin moisturizer.

The Results
So far I’m really liking this mixture!  After spraying it on my hands and massaging it in, my hands felt really soft.  I didn’t find that it was too sticky or greasy either.  I was glad I added the fragrance – it added a very nice touch.

So a big thank you to Kathryn for sharing!  I think this recipe is a keeper!


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    Feel free to comment or share your bright idea!

  1. says

    I got a bottle of this from the same Kathryn last year and it's all I use. Of course I ran out of hers and now make my own. I use it every morning and night. I use less glycerin though.

  2. says

    I am still liking this glycerin moisturizer too. I did find that a mist bottle works better for applying it to your skin than a spray bottle.

  3. says

    Thank you for the recipe. I love glycerin moisturizers but never thought about making it. The hand hot oil treatment looks good too. So glad I found your blog!

  4. says

    Thank you for the recipe. I love glycerin moisturizers but never thought about making it. The hand hot oil treatment looks good too. So glad I found your blog!

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      Yes, I use this spray on my face and it works well there too. Sometimes I find it’s a little easier to spray it on my hand first, and then rub it on my face.

  5. ada says

    Would also like to make my own home made moisturizing skin lightener. Would adding lime or lemon to this glycerine moisturizer do that for me or totally defeat the purpose? Thanks

  6. Lara says

    Love this!! Amazon has a quart of glycerin for <$12, they have smaller containers, but not as good of deal. Makes great gifts if you have a selection of oils on hand; which is what I'm doing with my quart of glycerin. I use 2 parts glycerin, 2 parts aloe vera gel, 3 parts distiller water. I screwed up the measurements the first time I made it, but like the results, so I've kept with it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  7. Ann says

    This works perfectly for me. I spray it on my hair after washing and my face and neck. Just a quick light spray makes my naturally curly hair shine and my skin looks moist. I used the 1:4 ratio, just glycerine and spring water.

  8. kim says

    I have been adding GLYCERIN to my (store bought) lotions for yrs now. I mix it with plain EUCERIN (in the bottle – NOT the jar) and use as a facial moisturizer. Works as good as the more expensive creams. Altho’ mine does not have any anti-aging properties… you could always alternate with a different cream at night.

  9. leah says

    Great comments and thanks for the ideas. I have used the recipe with the change of using organic rose water. Love it love the scent. Going to try out other floral waters for a change,and personalized gifts.
    Found both ingredients on Amazon.

  10. J D Provence says

    You can buy a gallon (10 pounds) of food grade vegetable glycerin on ebay for $35.00 with free shipping. Considering Wal Mart charges $3.99 for a 4 ounce bottle, this is a tremendous savings.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      Sorry, I don’t know how to make glycerine from scratch. Not sure if it’s even possible to make it on your own without specialized equipment.

  11. Toni says

    Thanks for this great post! I order propylene glycol (for perfume making) off Amazon and I was so excited when the box arrived today. I opened it, read the label, and realized they’d sent me vegetable glycerine by accident :( Since I’m fairly new to natural products, all I knew about VG was that it’s in the soap I buy from Whole Foods haha. So I started some research, and made my own mist after reading your article. I add tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to mine. It smells great, moisturizers my skin better than I expected, and it’s a bit more expensive than what I actually purchased!

    This morning, my legs were so dry I could see scratch marks when I would scratch an itch. This mix completely changed that!

  12. Linda says

    Hi Bev, Thanks for this article on glycerin. I’m looking for something that will help my granddaughter’s extremely dry itchy skin. I’ve been studying EO’s lately, but this looks more affordable & something simple even my 7 yo granddaughter can do.Will this aid in the healing, do you think? Thanks for the post.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      Hi Linda – yes, I think this glycerin spray could help your granddaughter’s dry skin. I get very dry skin in the winter too and it’s helped me a lot. My husband finds this works better for his dry hands than lotions! What I notice the most is that the effects of the glycerin spray seem to last longer. I don’t have to reapply it as often as lotions.

  13. Linda says

    I’ve been looking for this post in pinterest to pin & can’t locate it. Sorry, I’m new to all this. Thanks!

  14. Dottie Welch says

    Hello. I bought glycerin from a drug store and it just says glycerin. Is this the same as the vegetable glycerin?

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      A mister bottle squirts out a much finer spray that a spray bottle. A spray bottle will have a larger and more direct stream that it shoots out of the nozzle

  15. Christina says

    Great recipe! Do I need to refrigerate this Glycerin Skin Moisturizer? I live in a tropical country so, do you think the heat can deteriorate this moisturizer?

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      It can’t hurt to refrigerate this product, however then you will have to spray yourself with cold moisturizer, which if you live where its warm and tropical might not be all bad! If you leave it out at room temperature, make sure you use distilled water or purified water of some type to keep bacteria from growing in the water used in the mixture.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I think if you use aloe gel it might have too thick of a texture to spray well. If you really wanted to add some aloe gel, you will probably want to either use just a very tiny amount so that it is still a thin mixture that will spray, or switch to a pump type bottle instead.

  16. Holly says

    I love this, but after 2 weeks I have what appears to be mold in my mist bottle. I didn’t use any essential oils, but followed the recipe exactly besides that optional part. Anyone else had this happen or know how to prevent it? Thanks in advance for the help!!

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      Using filtered water should help prevent mold. You can also try distilled water to help prevent any mold. Another option is to keep it in the refrigerator, but of course then you’ve got some very cold moisturizer to spray on yourself which is not very comfortable unless it’s a very hot day.

  17. Wistful Wonders says

    Your can purchase vegetable glycerine from soap and cosmetic suppliers.

    In the U.S., there’s a company called MakingCosmetics (add a dot com after that to find their site), New Directions Aromatics and several others.

    There’s also a site called ‘NowFoods’ in the U.S. that sells vegetable glycerine for $50 a gallon, but I’ve no idea whether that’s the best price for it out there – you’d have to do some googling to shop around and see if you can find a better price.

    The stuff sold in drug stores tends to be pharmaceutical grade, so some of the goodies can often be removed before it hits the shelves.

    I prefer to buy the organic, vegetable variety in bulk, especially as I use so much of it – it’s worth it for me to buy it in bulk.

    As for bugs and mold and whatnot, whenver I make products at home that involve water and humectants, I always include a preservative – usually Liquid Germall Plus (available from places like MakingCosmetics and New Directions Aromatics – just to be on the safe side.

    If anyone’s interested, Susan Barclay-Nichols over at her swiftcraftymonkey blogspot is a veritible font of knowledge on making skin and hair care products at home, explaining everything in great detail with research to back it all up, which anyone can do themselves.

    I learned everything I know from her so I’m sure some of you will no doubt get lost in her site – I know I could spend days reading it and lose track of time entirely lol

  18. Osiris steward says

    I will like to make sugar scrub adding glycerin, do I had to add water to the recipe? and how much glyceryn in a recipe? thanks Osiris

  19. Mary Owens says

    I have been reading through the comments and l am really exited to try out and make some of these fab products..

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I always use this spray up within three to four months and it does not grow moldy during that time. However I also always use either filtered water or distilled water which will prevent any mold from growing too.