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Old 05-07-2009, 09:18 AM   #1
 
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Default Vegetable glycerin...is there another form

Excuse my ignorance, but I did try Google. I have come across people discussing vegetable glycerin as part of their hair routines, but isn't all glycerin derived from vegetables? My mother left a bottle in my cabinet, the label says glycerin not vegetable glycerin. Can this be used in my hair?

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
 
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I was wondering this too. My mom bought some Humco Glycerine that says it's a skin protectant and says the active ingredient (99.5%) is Glycerine Anhydrous. The article below still doesn't seem to answer the question of whether glycerin is vegetable or chemical. She says glycerin comes from soap? Hur, that still doesn't answer where the soap came from.

What is Glycerin?
by Kaila Westerman Cold Process Soapmakers have it down to a litany. When asked why their soap is better than store-bought, they say (among other things), "Because of the natural glycerin. Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process and while commercial manufacturers remove the glycerin for use in their more profitable lotions and creams, handcrafted soap retains glycerin in each and every bar."
Melt and Pour Soapmakers have a similar line, "Commercial soaps remove the glycerin for use in more profit producing lotions and creams, my soap has extra glycerin added to it. This helps make it clear, and also makes it a lot more [COLOR=black! important][COLOR=black! important]moisturizing[/COLOR][/COLOR]."

Where does glycerin come from?
Up until 1889, people didn't know how to recover glycerine from the soapmaking process, so commercially produced glycerin mostly came from the candlemaking industry (remember, back then candles were made from animal fats).
In 1889, a viable way to separate the glycerin out of the soap was finally implemented. Since the number one use of glycerin was to make nitroglycerin, which was used to make dynamite, making soap suddenly became a lot more profitable! I have an untested theory that you could trace the roots of most big soapmakers (and the "fall" of the small, local soapmaker) to about this time in history.
The process of removing the glycerin from the soap is fairly complicated (and of course, there are a lot of variations on the theme). In the most simplest terms: you make soap out of fats and lye. The fats already contain glycerin as part of their chemical makeup (both animal and vegetable fats contain from 7% - 13% glycerine). When the fats and lye interact, soap is formed, and the glycerin is left out as a "byproduct". But, while it's chemically separate, it's still blended into the soap mix.
While a cold process soapmaker would simply pour into the molds at this stage, a commercial soapmaker will add salt. The salt causes the soap to curdle and float to the top. After skimming off the soap, they are left with glycerin (and lots of "impurities" like partially dissolved soap, extra salt, etc.). They then separate the glycerin out by distilling it. Finally, they de-colorize the glycerin by filtering it through charcoal, or by using some other bleaching method.
Glycerin has lots of uses besides being used to make nitroglycerin (note: glycerin is not an explosive substance by itself. It has to be turned into nitroglycerin before it becomes explosive, so it's safe to work with in your kitchen). Some uses for glycerin include: conserving preserved fruit, as a base for lotions, to prevent freezing in hydraulic jacks, to lubricate molds, in some printing inks, in cake and candy making, and (because it has an antiseptic quality) sometimes to preserve scientific specimens in jars in your high school biology lab.
Glycerin is also used to make clear soaps. Highly glycerinated clear soaps contain about 15% - 20% pure glycerin. Known as "Melt and Pour" soaps, these soaps are very easy for the hobbyist to work with. They melt at about 160 degrees fahrenheit, and solidify fairly rapidly. Because of their high glycerin content, the soaps are very moisturizing to the skin. Unfortunately, this high glycerin content also means that the soaps will dissolve more rapidly in water than soaps with less glycerin, and that if the bar of soap is left exposed to air, it will attract moisture and "glisten" with beads of ambient moisture.
These downsides, however are more than compensated by the emollient, skin loving and gentle nature of this soap which is especially good for tender skin and children.
(1) The pure chemical product is called Glycerol (which shows that it is an alcohol), while the impure commercial product is called Glycerin. This is a technical complexity, so for this article, I'm sticking to the more familiar term, Glycerin.


This website was a little more helpful:

http://www.tomsofmaine.com/products/...&name=Glycerin

Glycerin is an emollient, an ingredient that helps to balance or maintain moisture levels. It is commonly derived from oils or created as a by-product of soap. These oils can be vegetable, animal, or petroleum in origin. Our glycerin is domestically sourced and derived from soybean oil, canola oil, coconut, palm kernel oil, and palm oils. It is not derived from corn, does not contain diethylene glycol, and is not genetically modified.


So it seems glycerine can come directly from oils out of vegetable, animal or petroleum. Or it can be the byproduct of the soap making process. So the question is to figure out what kind of glycerine you have and as long as it is a humectant (attracts water from the air to put in your skin and hair, softening and moisturizing them) you should be fine. I looked up my glycerin and it says it's a skin softener so I assume I can use it. Hope that helped.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:23 PM   #3
 
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i guess we are both in the dark...i hate going out and buying stuff when i have it in my cabinet. I AM TRYING SO HARD TO BE good
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
 
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from wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycerin

Since glycerol forms the backbone of triglycerides, it is produced on saponification or transesterification. Soap-making and biodiesel production are respective examples.
Glycerol is a 10% by-product of biodiesel production (via the transesterification of vegetable oils or animal fats). This has led to an excess of crude glycerol in the market, making the epichlorohydrin process no longer economical. Current levels of glycerol production are running at about 350,000 tons per annum in the USA, and 600,000 tons per annum in Europe. This will increase as it implements EU directive 2003/30/EC which requires replacement of 5.75% of petroleum fuels with biofuel across all Member States by 2010[1].




im thinking that unless is implicitly states that it's vegetable glycerin, it's not.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsubabiedee View Post
from wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycerin

Since glycerol forms the backbone of triglycerides, it is produced on saponification or transesterification. Soap-making and biodiesel production are respective examples.
Glycerol is a 10% by-product of biodiesel production (via the transesterification of vegetable oils or animal fats). This has led to an excess of crude glycerol in the market, making the epichlorohydrin process no longer economical. Current levels of glycerol production are running at about 350,000 tons per annum in the USA, and 600,000 tons per annum in Europe. This will increase as it implements EU directive 2003/30/EC which requires replacement of 5.75% of petroleum fuels with biofuel across all Member States by 2010[1].




im thinking that unless is implicitly states that it's vegetable glycerin, it's not.

thanks!
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
 
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AMERICAN BIOANALYTICAL: Chemicals for Life Science Research

This says anhydrous glycerin, ie drug store glycerin, is vegetable sourced, if that's helpful.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:05 AM   #7
 
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Not sure about the specific one you have but from what I have heard, glycerine can be a petroleum product. That doesn't mean you can't use it in your hair but some hair reacts better to vegetable glycerine than petroleum based kind.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
 
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I agree. Have you always only used vegetable glycerin? I find that when I used products that have just regular glycerin in them, my hair becomes very sticky and attracts dirt as well as build up. Vegetable glycerin doesn't react that way on my hair.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:53 PM   #9
 
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The glycerin used in cosmetics is the vegetable kind. The INCI for glycerin is just "glycerin" not "vegetable glycerin"

Polyols (the family of compounds from which glycerine comes, along with propylene and butylene glycol) can be derived from petrol production...but glycerine, the one used in cosmetics is veggie (unless the company actually specifies that it is not veggie). The glycerine that is a biodiesel byproduct is dark in color. I doubt (don't quote me) that the glycerol from petrol refining is actually sold as a cosmetic ingredient.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coilynapp View Post
The glycerin used in cosmetics is the vegetable kind. The INCI for glycerin is just "glycerin" not "vegetable glycerin"

Polyols (the family of compounds from which glycerine comes, along with propylene and butylene glycol) can be derived from petrol production...but glycerine, the one used in cosmetics is veggie (unless the company actually specifies that it is not veggie). The glycerine that is a biodiesel byproduct is dark in color. I doubt (don't quote me) that the glycerol from petrol refining is actually sold as a cosmetic ingredient.
you took the words outta my mouth. At one point in time, when people used lard and animal fats to make soap, the glycerin that was a byproduct was labeled animal glycerin. Now...you will rarely find soap made with animal fats, so most cosmetic glycerin is veggie glycerin.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:45 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by coilynapp View Post
The glycerin used in cosmetics is the vegetable kind. The INCI for glycerin is just "glycerin" not "vegetable glycerin"

Polyols (the family of compounds from which glycerine comes, along with propylene and butylene glycol) can be derived from petrol production...but glycerine, the one used in cosmetics is veggie (unless the company actually specifies that it is not veggie). The glycerine that is a biodiesel byproduct is dark in color. I doubt (don't quote me) that the glycerol from petrol refining is actually sold as a cosmetic ingredient.
you took the words outta my mouth. At one point in time, when people used lard and animal fats to make soap, the glycerin that was a byproduct was labeled animal glycerin. Now...you will rarely find soap made with animal fats, so most cosmetic glycerin is veggie glycerin.
NCC you're right. But also there are homecrafters who make soap with lard or tallow, but yes, for the most part, people do make soap with vegetable/plant oils
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