This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
One of the ways I keep my skin moisturized (especially during the cold winter months when my skin is the driest), is by making a very easy homemade moisturizer with glycerin and water. I’ve been making this mixture for over 10 years now and I’ve learned that just these two simple ingredients can make a very effective homemade treatment for dry skin. It’s become one of my favorite homemade mixtures!
How To Use Glycerin As A Moisturizer
Vegetable glycerin is a clear syrupy liquid that’s made by combining liquid and fats derived from vegetable oil. What makes glycerin very beneficial for our skin is that it has water binding capabilities that allow it to draw and absorb moisture from the air which in turn can help skin retain moisture. Plus it’s a very natural product to use on skin as well. Vegetable glycerin can be found in most drugstores or in the pharmacy area of many large grocery stores, or you can find it on Amazon here: Vegetable Glycerin
Your bottle of glycerin may say that you can simply massage a few drops of glycerin into your skin for moisturizing, but I find that it’s nice to dilute glycerin for skin. I use a simple dilution formula of 1 part glycerin to 4 parts water.
Because glycerin is kind of sticky and syrupy on its own, and because it mixes so very easily with water, I think the best way to use glycerin as a moisturizer is to make an easy spray using these two ingredients.
Two Helpful Tips for Homemade Glycerin Moisturizer
Even though this is a very simple two-ingredient mixture, I do have a couple of quick tips.
First, I recommend that you use a mist bottle for this spray. I’ve learned that spraying a fine mist onto your skin is a much more pleasurable way to apply this mixture (instead of a harsher blast from a spray bottle which is what I tried first). In fact it was the change to using a mist bottle that helped me love this mixture and has kept me using it now for many years. It’s just a gentler and more evenly applied way to get this mixture onto your skin. Plus, a mist application makes it easier to use glycerin on your face too!
Sometimes I use my glass mist bottle, however once my hands are wet from spreading this mixture on my skin, the glass bottle can sometimes feel a little slippery in my hands. That’s why many times I still use a plastic mist bottle that I keep in my supplies too. I originally found my plastic mist bottle at a beauty supply store which can be a handy place to find a variety of spray and mist bottles for your DIY needs.
Second, I recommend that you use distilled water for your homemade glycerin moisturizing spray because distilled water is purified and very shelf-stable, and will stay good for the several months that it may take you to use up your homemade spray.
My Glycerin Moisturizer Recipe
As mentioned above, I usually use a dilution ratio of 1 part glycerin with 4 parts of water. I’ve found this is a ratio that gives you moisturizing benefit, without the mixture being too sticky. When you have a formula like this, you can make your glycerin moisturizer in any size you wish, however I always use the measurements below when I mix up a batch:
Homemade Glycerin Skin Moisturizer
- 1/4 cup glycerin
- 1 cup distilled water
- A few drops of essential oil (optional)
- A spray bottle or mist bottle
Combine the glycerin and distilled water in a mist bottle and then shake gently to mix. If you would like a little fragrance, a few drops of an essential oil can also be added. (A funnel is super helpful for getting the ingredients into your bottle too). To use – spritz the mixture onto your skin and then rub it in.
And that’s all there is to it! This glycerin moisturizer is a very simple and natural way to keep your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated without any artificial scents or chemicals to worry about. And when you look at the hefty price tags on some of the skin creams at the store, this is definitely a money-saving way to keep your skin moisturized too. That’s why for several years now, I just keep making my own glycerin moisturizing spray!
Here are a couple other variations of this recipe I’ve made too:
This post was originally published April, 2011 and updated February, 2022. Here’s the original picture you may have seen floating around Pinterest!
Homemade Glycerin Skin Moisturizing Spray
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Glycerin
- 1 cup Distilled Water
- A few drops Essential Oil (optional for scent)
- 1 Mist Bottle
- Combine the glycerin and distilled water in the mist bottle.
- You can also add a few drops of essential oil if you would like to add scent to your mixture.
- Put the top on the mist bottle and gently shake to mix the ingredients.
- To Use: Spritz some of the mixture onto dry skin and rub in.