Debra Lynn Dadd




I'm trying to find a way to contact Ruth Winters re: her 'Consumer Dic...cosmetic ing.' because she mentions that 'glycerin' moisturizes by pulling water from the lower layer of dermis, and I am confused because it is in even the most natural products I have come across.

Has anyone found sun protection, soaps, or creams that don't have glycerin? Is there an alternative to this ingredient?

I tried her website, e-mailed the addresses given, and recieved failure notices from all the addresses. Does anyone have other ideas for contacting Ms. Winters to verify that I understood her definition correctly?

Thanks everyone for your help,




I don't know how to contact Ruth Winter, but here's more about glycerin...

Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. Glycerin is a natural, sweet-tasting, colorless by-product of the soapmaking process. Commercial manufacturers remove the glycerin from soap and put it in their more profitable lotions and creams; handcrafted soap retains it's glycerin.

Glycerin is a good solvent, which may be why it is used so widely. Many ingredients can be dissolved into glycerin more easily than into water or alcohol, and glycerin itself can be dissolved into water or alcohol, but not oil.

Glycerin is also highly "hygroscopic" which means that it absorbs water from the air. if you left an open bottle of pure glycerin exposed to air it would take moisture from the air and eventually would become 80 per glycerin and 20 percent wate. Because of this hygroscopic quality, pure, 100 percent glycerin placed on the skin may raise a blister, since it is dehydrating. Diluted with water, however, it will soften your skin.

Now, I did also find some sources saying that glycerin pulls water from the lower layer of dermis as well. It may be that the glycerin, having this quality of attracting water, pulls from the lower dermis as well as the air.

Not being a cosmetic chemist, I don't have a definitive answer to this, but perhaps a reader will enlighten us...

Debra :-)


Regarding Glycerin - I found this information on Paula Begoun's website (

glycerin. Also called glycerol; it is present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable. It can be manufactured by the hydrolysis of fats and by the fermentation of sugars. It can also be synthetically manufactured. For some time it was thought that too much glycerin in a moisturizer could pull water out of the skin instead of drawing it into the skin. That theory now seems to be completely unfounded. What appears to be true is that glycerin shores up the skin's natural protection by filling in the area known as the intercellular matrix and by attracting just the right amount of water to maintain the skin's homeostasis. There is also research indicating that the presence of glycerin in the intercellular layer helps other skin lipids do their jobs better (Sources: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, September 2000, pages 165169; and Acta Dermato-Venereologica, November 1999, pages 418421). See intercellular matrix and natural moisturizing factors.


Hi, I don't know how to contact the person you're looking for, either, but I caution you about glycerin's source. Unless you have yours for over a year, DO NOT buy products imported from China. I get many news reports online about politics. As you probably know, there is a thrust toward globalization now, focusing on TRADE instead of health. The FDA recently rejected nearly 250 shipments of foodstuffs from China because of contamination. Toothpaste from China was found in Panama & PR to contain a deadly anti-freeze ingredient, & the US supply has not yet passed inspection. PROBABLY THE SAFEST ROUTE IS TO BE SURE NO EDIBLE PRODUCT YOU BUY FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY OR PETS, INCLUDING THOSE THAT THE SKIN ABSORBS, COME3S FROM CHINA It is the general opinion that they are not doing this to cause harm, but rather that they have few or no regulations for inspection in place, and manufacturers try to cut $ corners by using any ingredients that will REPRODUCE THE FAMILIAR TASTE EFFECT, thus increasing their trade value.

POSTED BY DORIAN CARUSO :: NJ USA :: 06/06/2007 4:10 PM

Another problem with glycerin that I have, and so do many other people, is that it is often made from corn. I'm severely allergic to corn and glycerin made from it, will cause serious reactions. I have atopic dermatitis, and corn-derived glycerin will really set it off, and I get terrible rashes. I also have hives, wheezing and other symptoms. Ingesting anything with corn-derived glycerin can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. Unfortunately, the source of glycerin is not listed on the labels. I avoid glycerin, unless I find out what it was made from, and country of origin.

POSTED BY DONNIE :: MICHIGAN USA :: 06/19/2007 11:12 AM

In 2003, it was found that glycerin regulated the orderly movement of skin layers through the four stages, and topical or oral supplementation got rid of psoriasis in animal models. This has been anecdotally found to be true for humans, too.

Here's a reference:

However, I have to disagree utterly with "Because of this hygroscopic quality, pure, 100 percent glycerin placed on the skin may raise a blister, since it is dehydrating. ...

Now, I did also find some sources saying that glycerin pulls water from the lower layer of dermis as well. It may be that the glycerin, having this quality of attracting water, pulls from the lower dermis as well as the air."

None of that is true. It GOES to the water much faster than it could "pull from the lower dermis as well as the air." It has a unique cellular signalling role which opens cell channels and allows it to penetrate. It will be gone INTO the skin within about 10 minutes of application.

I have been using it PURE for 5 years, and have NEVER had a blister.

BTW, it is also a contact 100% anti-bacterial. It dehydrates the isolated bacteria instantly, as they have no access to water. It works as an instant halitosis eliminator: if you swish it around on the back of your tongue, and swallow, your vile sulphur-breath will suddenly smell fresh and odor-free.


Hi Gwen,

I have also read Ruth Winter's book and I think you are understanding her statement correctly.

While I am not certain what all the issues are with glycerin, I do have customers purchasing Miessence products because they are looking for products without glycerin in them.

I can tell you that all "natural" products do not contain glycerin.

You wrote:
"Has anyone found sun protection, soaps, or creams that don't have glycerin?"

There is no glycerin used in any Miessence products. Miessence products are manufactured by ONE Group (Organic and Natural Enterprise Group).

Miessence products are sold through Independent Representatives like myself.

Complete Ingredients list on each product glycerin in any Miessence products.

Miessence has a sunscreen with no glycerin (Reflect Outdoor Balm) with SPF 15 stated on the bottle but has actually been tested to SPF 30.

Liquid Handsoap without glycerin:

sunflower bodywash without glycerin:

Intensive Body Cream without glycerin:

and of course all of the Miesence skin care moisturizers do not have glycerin:

Warm regards,


GLYCERIN GAVE ME A BLISTER ON MY EYE!!! I recently started using a new eye cream that lists glycerin as the second ingredient. I came across this forum trying to find out why and if I should keep using my eye cream. It burns when I put it on, and maybe I put on a little too much last night, because I have used it a couple times before and I don't have any known allergies. It has been more than 24 hours and I still have my ugly eye blister :(.

What does everyone think? Should I stop using it? Should I just use it sparingly?

For the person who says s/he uses it 100%: Do you use it on your eyelids? I put it elsewhere on my face and I didn't get blisters there, and I only got a small blister on one eye. Just because it has never happened to you doesn't mean that it can't happen. Why don't you go smother it all over your eyes for a month and we will see if that "statistic" changes.

This eye cream I am using is Claudia Stevens eye fix mix, TOTAL EYE HYDRATION. It can be found at Sally's beauty supply. It might not have super ingredients, but I just want to moisturize and help prevent pre-mature aging because I am only 21.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: Whenever any product causes symptoms, stop using it entirely.

POSTED BY NINA :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 12/22/2009 4:06 AM

Glycerin should be kept away from the eyes, as it is a strong water-lover. This is fine on normal, well-irrigated tissue (with capillaries, etc.) but the cornea has virtually none (since it has to be clear). The result is that it is dehydrated on contact with glycerin, and the nerves interpret that as "burning", as that is the usual reason for swift water loss.

POSTED BY BRIAN H :: TEXAS CANADA :: 12/28/2009 3:31 PM

I've been using a mixture of glycerin and water(1/4 glycerin with 3/4 water) as a moisturizer for the last 40 years. I am now 67 and have almost no wrinkles on my face.

It's been the only moisturizer that works on my very dry skin. I use the glycerin the pharmacists use and have them order it for me.

I was told that the water is the moisturizer and the glycerin holds it in. I have never found any other moisturizer that works. It's a bit messy and I have to blot my face to remove the glossy look, but it's remarkable as a moisturizer.

POSTED BY NK :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 12/28/2009 3:33 PM

Clarification on previous post:

I had said that I got a blister on my eye from an eye cream with glycerin. I meant that I got a blister on my eye LID. I don't put eye cream IN my eye, lol!!!!

I read that glycerin is warm, and that is what I was feeling as "burning."

POSTED BY NINA :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 01/11/2010 10:25 AM

Hm. Not sure what you mean by "glycerin is warm". It can surprise you when you apply it, of course, because you normally expect some evaporative cooling from a liquid, and glycerin does not evaporate.

POSTED BY BRIAN H :: CANADA :: 01/11/2010 7:48 PM

I was using a glycerin soap for a long time as I could tolerate it. Then the company changed it's glycerin provider and the soap is now got an orange tinge to it. I'm highly allergic to the soap now. I don't know what to do to find another that I can use. Frankly I'd rather use a tallow soap as I'm sensitive to so many plants. I'm guessing, and it's only a guess that corn is included now which I'm highly sensitive to.

POSTED BY EDY :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 01/15/2010 7:05 PM

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