Glycerin- a Great Primer for Dry Skin 

 glycerin-makeup-primer-moisturising-cough-mixture-base Have you heard the news? Nivea for Men Post Shave Balm is good as a primer. Here’s a picture of a topless man applying it-

 In the last year there have been 3,762 blog posts (I made that up) written about how Nivea Post Shave Balm is the best makeup primer known to man (or woman). Apparently it dries to a tacky finish that helps keep make makeup in place. Hmmm? Thought I. What’s in this balm that produces this desirable effect?

Glycerin! It’s the second ingredient on the label after water.  You can get pure glycerin from shops- it’s a cough medicine! Boots does 200 ml of 100% vegetable derived Glycerin for £1.39. It’s in the cold remedies section. So my next question is- can cough medicine be used as a makeup primer?

The small print on the bottle says 

To relieve coughs and sore throats: Mix the amount given below with a little water and drink slowly.

Adults and children of 12 years and over: Two 5ml spoonfuls, diluted in water. Give this amount 3 or 4 times a day…

To relieve dry skin for adults and children: Apply to the affected area of skin undiluted or mixed with a little water. If symptoms do not go away talk to your local pharmacist or doctor

Glycerin is something called a Polyol, a sugar alcohol. It’s a liquid at room temperature, it’s non toxic, odour free, non comedogenic (doesn’t cause spots), it’s naturally derived from vegetables and is sweet tasting. It’s an all round good egg. Glycerin can be found in many beauty products as a moisturising agent. I bought some Neals Yard skincare recently and the ingredients of the toner and moisturiser included glycerin.

So it’s recommended for skin. Being the Wreckhead that I am I rubbed some undiluted glycerin onto my face that instant. It feels like putting syrup on your face. And it’s sweet! Maybe pure glycerin is too sticky for the face. I put some in a spray bottle and mixed with 3 parts water 

glycerin-makeup-primer-moisturising-cough-mixture-base I spritzed it on to my clean face and let it sink in. My skin was slightly sticky to the touch. It felt tacky. I imagine it this tackiness that helps to “glue” makeup products to the skin. 

Just the Glycerin and Water Spritz
With Foundation
Then the Rest of My Makeup

It makes for a shinier base than I prefer because my skin is so oily. I had to put plenty of powder on. I think my makeup lasted longer, but after a while I looked pretty glowy. I went for lunch with a friend and she didn’t laugh at my face, so it couldn’t have been that bad.


I can see no reason for not using glycerin as a moisturising primer. It’s natural, effective and cheap

  • If you have dry skin, it gives moisture.
  • If you’re acne prone and have been using treatments that give you flakey skin it’ll help your makeup go on nicely and it won’t make acne worse.
  • If you’ve finished your makeup and it looks too powdery or chalky a spritz of glycerin and water will bring the glow back.

Cough Medicine as a makeup primer, it sounds crazy when you say it like that, but Glycerin can be used as a moist glowy base, Ideal for ladies with dry skin.

Available from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s