Glycerine, as well as urea, belong to NMF (natural moisture factors) of the skin.
It is a component of many vegetable and animal fats. Synthetic derivation from petroleum is possible as well. Since glycerine is a 'by-product' of the production of bio-diesel, vegetable glycerine has gained significance in the last years. Glycerine can be also derived from palm oil, which can be ecologically problematic again.
In dry wintery air, skin-produced glycerine compensates a deficit of moisture by drawing it from the connective tissue so that the skin does not dry up. Glycerine in a cream has the same effect: It binds the moisture from the skin if the product does not provide enough water or if the glycerine concentration is too high in proportion to the water content of the cream. For this reason, it is recommended that the concentration of glycerine in a cream should not exceed 10 %.
That's why it is most commonly recommended that the INCI declaration of a product should not begin with glycerine because the ingredients must be listed there in descending concentration.
Unfortunately, the INCI declaration does not really allow conclusions on the concentrations of individual raw substances to be drawn, as the following example shows. In addition, raw substances contained in concentrations below 1 % can be declared by the manufacturer in any order.
For example, a product containing water, jojoba oil, glycerine, gel makers, emulsifiers, active substance, preservative, must be declared in this very order according to INCI. Here you would almost inevitably assume a high concentration of glycerine.
In reality, however, the following concentrations often result:
Jojoba oil 30%
Gel makers 4%
Active substance 1.8%
We use glycerine concentrations below 10 % and with sufficiently high water content so that Belico preparations have a moisturising and non-drying effect.