Glycerin substitutes

Updated April 17, 2017

Glycerine is a product found in soap, toothpaste and other pharmaceutical products. It can also be used as a sugar substitute in baked goods. Also known as glycerol, the substance is a thick, sweet-tasting liquid. It is used for cosmetic goods as it can be dissolved in water or alcohol, but not in oil. Glycerine can be made out of animal or vegetable fats, and the former isn't suitable for vegetarians.

Vegetable glycerine

This kind of glycerine is made from vegetable fats instead of animal fats. According to holistic website Wholistic Research, it has a low glycemic index number so, like animal-based glycerine, it can be used as a sugar substitute. It comes from coconut or palm oil and does not have any of the other health effects sugar has, such as cavities. According to the website 1 tbsp of vegetable glycerine is equivalent of 50 g (1/4 cup) of sugar.


Corn syrup, maple syrup and honey can all be used as alternative sweeteners in foods. Honey comes from plant nectar, maple syrup is produced when the sap of a maple tree is boiled, and corn syrup are a group of sweeteners containing glucose. While honey is produced by bees and therefore not suitable for vegans, maple syrup and corn syrup are vegetarian-friendly.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a substitute for animal-based glycerine in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. It has similar properties to lard, helps the soap form a hard bar and produces a good lather. According to DIY skincare website Natural Skincare, virgin coconut oil or virgin coconut de creme produces the best results.

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