Diglycerin at a glance

  • Humectant that boosts hydration within skin
  • Can also be used as a solvent or to improve foaming properties of a formula
  • Related to glycerin but noted as less sticky
  • May offer longer-lasting hydration than glycerin due to its higher molecular weight

Diglycerin description

Diglycerin is a highly beneficial ingredient for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin, thanks to its humectant properties that enhance water retention within the skin. Besides its moisturizing capabilities, diglycerin serves as an effective solvent and can improve the viscosity of foam in personal care products. You can find this versatile ingredient in various products such as cleansers, lotions, shaving creams, shampoos, and makeup items. Created by bonding two glycerin molecules together, diglycerin suppliers claim it provides longer-lasting hydration compared to glycerin, owing to its higher molecular weight, which slows down penetration and allows it to remain on the skin for an extended period. Additionally, diglycerin is less sticky than glycerin, contributing to a more aesthetically pleasing user experience. That said, cosmetic chemists familiar with glycerin’s aesthetic drawbacks know how to combine it with other ingredients, such as dimethicone, for an improved sensorial experience. While the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has not yet finalized their safety report on diglycerin, it is helpful to note that previous assessments for glycerin by the CIR concluded it as safe for cosmetic use. As of 2022, the highest reported concentration of diglycerin usage was 28% in skin cleansing products and up to 5% in non-spray face and neck products. In its raw form, diglycerin is a colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid at room temperature.

Diglycerin references

  • UL Prospector (supplier info), Accessed July 2023, ePublication
  • Personal Care Products Council, Accessed July 2023, ePublication
  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2019, pages 6S-22S

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.