There is a lot of misinformation being circulated online about the use of alcohol in skincare. Many people believe that alcohol in cosmetics is not bad, but according to research findings alcohol, when used as the primary ingredient in skincare products, can pose a problem. In particular, one should avoid skincare products like 1% Retinol Booster. We should also avoid Skin Balancing pore-reducing toners as well as Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% salicylic acid.

What is good alcohol? What is bad alcohol?

There is both good alcohol as well as bad alcohol in skincare products. When we think about bad alcohol in a skincare product we are thinking about dry types of alcohol. Skincare products with SD alcohol and denatured alcohol as well as isopropyl alcohol are not good for you and should be avoided. This is because this kind of alcohol aggravates the skin and in addition, it is harsh on the skin. Worse still, this kind of alcohol weakens the skin.

There is good alcohol and the main type is called fatty alcohols. Skincare products that contain cetyl or stearyl or cetearyl alcohol are actually good for the skin, as they create a nice skin texture.

Types of alcohol in skincare products

There are several types of alcohol that are used in skincare products. These include both good alcohol and bad alcohol.

Bad alcohols (drying alcohols)

The bad alcohols are normally added to skincare products for their antibacterial properties. These drying alcohols include methanol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol. SD alcohol can dry your skin and it contains ethyl alcohol or ethanol. This type of alcohol dissolves the oil on the surface of the skin, but at the same time it weakens the protective barrier of the skin. One should never apply SD alcohol alone to the skin, but it should be used with other ingredients.

Good Alcohols (fatty alcohols)

Fatty alcohols do not dry the skin and they have emollient as well as occlusive properties. Their texture is thick and waxy and it is not uncommon for them to have a solid texture. They give the skin its smoothness and velvety feel. The occlusive properties help in retarding the pace of water loss.

Here are examples of good alcohol. These include behenyl alcohol, caprylic alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol and decyl alcohol.

How alcohol damages skin and make breakouts worse?

People with oily skins are often of the opinion that it pays to use skincare products that contain alcohol in them. However, the truth is that when you use a skincare product that is alcohol based then the alcohol content in such products can actually damage the skin. The truth is that alcohol can actually lead to more oiliness, which is why it makes sense to check very carefully before buying an alcohol-based skincare product.

Why is alcohol often used in cosmetics?

Alcohol is used in skincare products because it offers twin benefits. The first is that alcohol in skincare products is able to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Secondly, alcohol is able to degrease your skin quickly and hence offers immediate fulfillment to anyone plagued by oily skin.

Precautions and useful tips

It pays to be very careful about using skincare products that contain alcohol. This is because alcohol can damage the protective barrier of the skin. It can also lead to free-radical damage. Furthermore, it can also make your skin oilier. The best option available to those who are looking to use skincare products is to refrain from using alcohol-based products because these products represent an antiquated way of formulating cosmetics. There are far better options available. So, use them as far as possible.


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