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The 5 Best Substitutes for Glycerin

Glycerin is one of those substances used in many industries.

A bottle of glycerin on the shelf can come in handy on different occasions.

It is, therefore, an essential item to have in every household.

But if there is a glycerin emergency and you can’t find it at home, what is the alternative? No need to worry; there are some items that you can use instead.

We will see which are the five best substitutes for glycerin as we read along.

What is Glycerin?

what is glycerin

In simple terms, glycerin or glycerol is a non-poisonous, transparent, thick, and odorless liquid that is quite versatile in its usage.

There are two main types of glycerin: synthetic type extracted from petroleum and vegetable glycerin extracted from palm, coconut, and soy oils.

You can also find animal-based glycerine derived from animal fats.

Glycerin is used in the food and beverage industry, medical and pharmaceutical industry, cosmetic industry, and scientific research.

It is also used in the film industry and electronic cigarette industry.

It is also a fascinating substance because it is anti-freeze unless the temperature is -38 C (-36 F) or less.

You can also use glycerin as a moisturizer to treat or prevent various skin ailments by following the proper instructions.

5 Best Substitute For Glycerin

best substitute for glycerin

As mentioned earlier, glycerin is quite versatile.

But when not available, here are some substitutes that you can use for different purposes.

1 – Corn Syrup

corn syrup

Corn syrup is a suitable choice if you use glycerin as a sweetener but don’t have it.

It is primarily a suitable replacement for those who want to use only vegan products.

It is lighter in flavor, and so it may not provide the same strong effect.

But it also has fewer calories than glycerin.

So, it can be pretty helpful for those trying to maintain their weight.

You can use it in baking, desserts, and other dishes according to requirements.

But it is best to use it moderately no matter whatever the dish may be.

Else, too much of anything can be harmful. Experts suggest the exact measurement of corn syrup as glycerin.

Suitable ratio:

• 1 teaspoon glycerin=1 teaspoon corn syrup (you can always add more if required).

2 – Vegetable Oil

vegetable oil

For eating and cooking purposes, you can also use vegetable oil in place of glycerin.

Vegetable glycerin is safe and rarely causes an allergic reaction.

But if you don’t have it, any vegetable-based oil can work great.

If the aim is to capture the moisture in food, vegetable oil is a suitable option for glycerin.

It is also perfect for vegans who don’t wish to use any animal-based products.

It may be slightly higher in calories, though, but it shouldn’t be a problem.

Add to dishes by following the correct instructions for best results.

Suitable ratio.

• 1 teaspoon glycerin=1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

3 – Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is an ingredient in vegetable-based glycerin too.

Hence, it can be an ideal replacement when the other is not present.

It is not only edible but offers fantastic benefits for skin and health too.

Due to its many favorable properties, companies market coconut oil as a superfood.

You can use it in cooking, baking, on the skin, and apply it on rashes and itches.

It acts as a superb moisturizer and tastes delicious.

Coconut oil is also excellent to stimulate hair growth, control dandruff, and even prevent lice.

It is one of those ingredients that can enhance the flavor of any dish.

But as with any oil, consume moderately.

Suitable ratio:

• 1 teaspoon glycerin=1 teaspoon coconut oil (start with ½ teaspoon).

4 – Ceramides


Have you heard of lipids? These are fatty acids, and ceramides are also one type of lipids.

The outer layer of skin has about fifty percent of ceramides.

Experts recommend ceramide as an option for glycerin for skincare.

A lot of cosmetic companies use ceramides in their products like moisturizers, creams, and lotions.

You can also find them in make-up products, deodorants, and shampoos.

Ceramides assist in developing a wall to prevent permeability which in turn capture moisture.

It prevents skin from drying and becoming rough.

You can use ceramides only topically, though, and it is an important fact to remember.

Suitable ratio:

Though exact measurement is not found, you can go with the same quantity for putting on the skin.

• 1 teaspoon glycerin=1/2 teaspoon ceramides (add more if required).

5 – Other Oils and Butters

other oils and butters

Both cocoa and shea butter are suitable substitutes for glycerin in skincare.

Avocado oil and jojoba oil are also popular in the cosmetic industry.

If you run out of glycerin, you can certainly use one of these for your skincare routine.

They lock in the moisture and keep your skin smooth and soft. Shea butter, avocado oil, and cocoa butter are also edible.

So, you can use it in cooking sparingly if all options are out. Cocoa butter is one of the main ingredients in chocolate.

The manufacturers also add extra cocoa butter to enhance the creamy texture in dark chocolates.

Suitable ratio:

For skincare, use.

• 1 teaspoon of glycerin=1 teaspoon of oil or butter (use more if needed).


These are some ingredients that you can substitute for glycerin in cooking and skincare.

Make sure not to ingest any product not recommended as edible.

Use as advised for safety and best results. Some other substances substitute for glycerin.

But these are not recommended highly, so they didn’t make it to the best five replacements.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Glycerin

The 5 Best Substitutes for Glycerin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Corn Syrup
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ceramides
  • Other Oils and Butters


  1. Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  2. Organize all of your ingredients.
  3. Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.

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