Alcohol in Skincare Products: Good or Bad?

The truth about the alcohol in your skincare products might surprise you.
Alcohol must be one of the most controversial ingredients in skincare. Some consider it safe while for others it is a no-go. This is partly because of the stinging alcohol-based toners back in the day and partly because of all the misinformation going on. Alcohol is often considered unsafe and harsh mostly because people refer to ethanol which is a drying alcohol. But ethanol is just one kind of alcohol you can find in skincare products. So is alcohol good or bad for the skin? Well, it depends on the type.
Bad vs. Good Alcohol in Skincare Products
You can find alcohol in a variety of beauty products, including serums and creams, makeup, body lotions, oral care, and hair care. There are many different types of alcohol in skincare, some are considered safe while others are drying. However, if you pick up a product and you see that alcohol is its main ingredient, consider it a red flag and do thorough research before using it.
Bad Alcohol in Skincare
Bad alcohols in skincare are also known as simple or drying alcohols. They are usually used as preservatives, to reduce excess sebum, to make the texture of the product smoother, or to make the formula dry quickly and leave your skin looking less shiny. Such alcohols are usually very harsh and strip the skin over time. Used on a regular basis, these alcohols weaken the skin’s natural barrier function which results in loss of elasticity, dryness, appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Examples of alcohols in skincare to avoid:
  • Ethanol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Denatured alcohol (alcohol denat)
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Methanol
  • SD alcohol
These types of volatile alcohols can cause skin irritation, wrinkles, and even breakouts but it’s important to know that there is no evidence showing that the use of these alcohols has a harmful effect upon the overall health.
Alternatives to drying alcohols
Many people with oily and blemish-prone skin use drying alcohols because they ensure a smooth and weightless finish and leave the skin looking and feeling less shiny. However, these alcohols can increase the growth of acne-causing bacteria, worsen the inflammation, and in long term, increase oiliness. That’s why you might want to replace them with skin-loving ingredients like green tea, for example. Green tea has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sebum-reducing, and soothing properties which makes it suitable for all skin types.
Good Alcohol in Skincare
The safe alcohols that are used in skincare products are fatty alcohols that are derived from natural sources, such as vegetable oils or nuts, for example. These alcohols are rich in healthy fats and are often used as emulsifiers in skincare. They are non-irritating and incredibly beneficial for the skin, thanks to their emollient and occlusive properties. That means that they aid the skin’s natural barrier function, by locking in moisture and protecting the skin from environmental damage. Fatty alcohols also keep the ingredients in the skincare formulations fresh and stable. Some good alcohols to know are:
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • C12-16
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Glyceryl stearate
  • Glycol
  • Myristyl alcohol
While not fatty alcohols, there are two types of alcohol that draw moisture to the skin and they are:
  • Butylene glycol
  • Propanediol 
Good alcohols can be beneficial even for people with dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin. They can also be a useful addition to help ingredients penetrate the skin better and preserve the formulation.
Read the Labels
You can easily understand how much alcohol is used in a product by the location of it on the ingredients list. If alcohol is one of the top ingredients, it is likely to be a drying type that can disrupt your skin’s barrier in the long term. Avoid products with high alcohol content. If it is lower in the list, preferably past sixth position, drying alcohols are not concentrated enough to cause severe damage.
Alcohol in skincare comes in many forms and not all alcohols are created equal. Different alcohols hold different risks and benefits and it is essential to distinguish the good from the bad ones. Fatty alcohols have a place in the skincare world, as they are skin-friendly and boost the skin’s moisture retention. Drying alcohols need to be avoided or used only in wash-off products, such as cleansers, as they can aggravate the skin, cause irritation, and even be a factor in premature aging.
Best Reviews
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
As someone that is beauty product OBSESSED – I sometimes end up with a twelve-step routine before bed. Although this is fun, sometimes I have to step back and ask myself: · Do I really need this many products? · Could too many products be actually harming my skin instead of helping? · Could I achieve the same healthy skin with less product application and significantly less money spent? A few details about my type of skin include: · European heritage · Oily-skin that is dry with the wrong products · Acne-prone skin since I was fifteen/ subsequent scarring · Fighting anti-aging and fine lines, especially around my smile and forehead. (Curse my expressive face that cannot hide any emotions!) So I asked myself – Can I get this down to three products? And voila! I selected my favorite three that I could NOT live without. When I do not feel like bringing out the entire skincare brigade – I opt for these main trusted three: 1. Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask – A bit about this product includes: a. Great for a once-per-week mask b. Sometimes I use it twice per week if I’m suffering from bad acne c. The ingredients clarify using aloe (soothing) blue tansy (redness calmer), white willow bark (anti-inflammatory), all combining for a resurfacing-effect that fights bacteria. d. Contains BHAs and Salicin (an anti-microbial that kills bacteria) e. The scent is fruity and smells like herbs/aloe f. Blue tansy has a mildly-medicinal fragrance g. The texture is thick, almost like maple syrup h. A little goes a long way! i. One bottle can last me about 6-months if I use it properly j. Price: $48.00 k.Ratings: 4.5-stars out of 200+ reviews   2. Terre Mere’s Aloe and Tea Tree Toner – A bit about this product includes: a. I only recently discovered this in my Fab Fit Fun box, a subscription service that sends new beauty products to your door once per season. b. On days that I do not mask with the Blue Tansy – I only use this toner and the oil listed in #3. (If only using these bottom two products, I would use the toner first, and then follow-up with the oil on step #3, for an even more simplified routine). You should also cleanse/wash your face between toning and moisturizing, but we’re going for basics here! c. I tend to lean towards products with aloe, very calming for my skin’s redness d. The tea tree oil offers an anti-fungal property to fight harmful bacteria that clog pores e. Infused with a sulfur compound that they claim offers a collagen-boosting effect f. Vegan g. Willow bark (now that I’m researching, quite similar to the blue tansy mask indeed!) There is a reason these ingredients are used for fighting acne – they work! h. Fragrance-free - important unless the fragrances are naturally-occurring. You don’t want to clog your skin with dyes and perfumes. i. Price: $54.00 j. Ratings: None available   3. Herbivore’s Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil – A bit about this product includes: a. I love the brand Herbivore Botanicals! It is one of my all-time favorites. Not only do I trust them for clean, vegan, and highly-moisturizing products, but they also fight my breakouts like no other topical treatment ever has. b. The prices are slightly high – however, the formulas are so concentrated. I have been able to make a bottle of this last for 6-months. That is less than $8 per month. So there is no need to see your skincare as a major luxury! c. Fights redness and dullness d. Absorbs quickly e. Great for any skin type– even oily skin. That is what it’s for! If you have oily skin, stripping it of natural oils will only reinforce oil production, resulting in more breakouts. Do not fight your skin’s natural proclivity to produce oil! Okay, queens!? f. Even if you have dry or combination skin, this product will leave you feeling exceptionally moisturized without a greasy effect. g. Utilizes a blend of cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, omegas, and adaptogens h. $1 for each bottle sold is donated to help legalize cannabis for therapeutic-use and medicinal research i. The color is as the name suggests – emerald to light green j. I use about 2-3 drops per morning and night k. I gently massage it into the places that become the most inflamed (around mouth mostly) l.  Price: $48.00 m.   Rating: 4.5-stars out of 100+ reviews I have a few other favorites, but honestly, nothing compares to these OG three! These main three products are heavily responsible for my skin having: · Reduced redness · Less inflammation and acne · A smoother texture · A brightened glow See the before and after pictures for proof of my glow-up!
Apply Strip Lashes in 3 Easy Steps!
Apply Strip Lashes in 3 Easy Steps!
1. Grab the lashes off the tray 2. Apply Lash glue/Adhesive to the spine/Band of lashes! Let get the glue tacky for 13-15 seconds. 3. Apply lashes with glue on to your lash line (not on the hair) continue to press to your lash line. Suggested Lash glue: DUO - DARK DUO - Quick Set Striplash Adhesive ARDELL - Duo Brush on Striplash Adhesive White/Clear 5g Tweezers: TWEEZERMAN - 40th Anniversary Slant Tweezer
Night Owl must have: eye patches 🦉
Night Owl must have: eye patches 🦉
One thing everyone in real life knows about me is I don’t get sleep. Whether it’s staying up all night (once upon a time my bed time was 5 am - 12 pm. Oof) or just physically not being able to fall asleep it can still take a toll on your skin. When asleep our skin takes the time to properly repair itself. When you don’t get enough sleep it can have negative effects like depleting the moisture levels in your skin giving it a dull look. One thing I like to do to help combat that is eye patches. Eye patches have long been a favorite spa night product for me but recently I realize how much they can help in the morning while I was getting ready. For me they add a cooling effect to the skin which can help depuff the under eyes before make up application. I also really like them because most have glycerin which will help add that hydration back into the delicate under eye area that wasn’t replenished throughout the night. The ones pictured above all include caffeine which helps the look of puffy eyes, soothes, and has antioxidant properties. Also, I love using them as shadow shields for make up fall out. It’s so easy to pop them on while I’m doing my eyeshadow. It multitasks by saving me time in the morning while depuffing and protecting my skin from eyeshadow fallout. (For reference I usually do my eyeshadow before I do my base. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on top of foundation). My absolute favorite are the PETER THOMAS ROTH - Cucumber Hydra-Gel Eye Masks 60 Masks . Between the cucumber and caffeine these do the best at hydrating and depuffing my under eyes in morning. Though retailing at $52 for 30 pairs it is a bit pricy. My next runner up is the pixi - Detoxifeye which retails for $24 for 30 pairs. I do want to give a special shout out/wanting to the GOOD MOLECULES - Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches retailing at $18 for 30 pairs. While I do really like the depuffing effects I get from these I noticed every time I wore these and did my concealer it would pill up. I would recommend these to people who don’t wear make up but if you do I would be cautious. If you wanted to try these I would make sure you do a good job at making sure no excess serum is left over before make up application. I always end up using these at night for that reason which defeats the purpose of using them to depuff the eyes in the morning.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Setting Powder Can’t Hang?
Charlotte Tilbury’s Setting Powder Can’t Hang?
**I’ve only used this product once so this is my first impression of it I have been an admirer of Charlotte Tilbury’s products for quite some time now and have been dying to try its Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder. As its name suggests, it has a reputation of making the skin look airbrushed and free of shine, which I need in my life. More deets about the powder: This breathable, micro-fine powder technology gives you an immaculate complexion that acts like a luxe, micro-fine cashmere veil on top of your skin for a bright, perfecting finish. Rose wax and almond oil hydrate the skin throughout the day and enable the powder to blend on flawlessly, while reducing shine. Nourishing actives work to soothe and restore skin, while light-reflecting ingredients diffuse light as it hits your face for a luminous complexion and even finish all day. The powder costs $45 which i think is a lot so I’ve always been hesitant to try - but I got as a gift for my bday and was so excited to try. I haven’t really found a powder that I truly liked or that has actually kept my makeup locked in/prevented shine. My review: The airbrushed effect is no joke. When I first applied it, I was in awe of how smooth and radiant my skin looked. But as the day progressed, my T-zone got a bit oily and I noticed the product had caked into some dry spots — also does anyone have suggestions for hydrating primers/how to not make my foundation/powder cakey? Since I started using prescription retinol it’s been so hard to figure out!! I have to keep using this product to see how I feel about it. I really want to love it. As anyone tried it?!
FACEWASH COMBO ⬇️ Curology - The Cleanser MIXED WITH DR ORGANIC Aloe Vera Hydrating face wash -This combo is great because I am using my Curology acne fighting face wash but mixing in a little bit of the aloe face wash leaves my skin feeling really clean! The Curology face wash is not a lathering face wash rather then a formula that almost gets absorbed so quick into your skin that you can’t even rub it in. I don’t like that so I mix it with my Dr. Organic and get a sudsy lather going! The aloe wash is one of those facial washes that requires not a lot of product. It creates a nice foamy texture once you activate it. Anyway this face wash combo is nice and doesn’t not strip my skin from any moisture or make me break out. Love! DR ORGANIC- HYDRATING ALOE MICELLAR WATER ⬇️ I bought this on a whim while I was shopping online at Ulta! I love putting this on right after I cleanse my face because I feel like it’s getting my skin nice and extra hydrated and ready for all of the other products that I end up putting on! TONER ⬇️ ANDALOU NATURALS - Firming Toner, Coconut Water, Quenching This toner smells good and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I don’t think it does much for my skin though. If you other Cheries have any toner suggestions I’m totally open for your shares. Comment to let me know what you like to use a a toner! ACNE TREATMENT ⬇️ Curology - Curology formula Look at my previous posts about Curology! MOISTURIZER TRIO ⬇️ Curology - The Moisturizer Look from my previous post about Curology! ANDALOU NATURALS - BB Argan Stem Cell Benefit Balm, Clear Skin, SPF 30, Un-Tinted, 2 fl oz (58 ml) This SPF is THICK and leaves a WHITE mask over your face no matter how much or little you put on. I don’t like the consistency of the texture of the formula from this lotion. I do feel like it really is protecting my skin and it doesn’t leave a greasy finish. I am using this product because I am almost done with it anyway. I will NOT be repurchasing this product though because I have tried way better facial SPF’s. - Aloe Vera Gel Maximum Strength I LOVE mixing this with my Curology lotion and SPF because again. Aloe is great for keeping your skin hydrated and plump. Aloe fights any kind of scaring so I feel that adding the aloe gel to my skin routine acts like a shield from getting bad or any acne scars!!! This formula is very light and a little sticky but does not leave your face feeling tacky. I love how cooling and refreshed it has your skin feeling too! AM SERUM ⬇️ TRULY - Hemp Oil Facial Serum This. Is. My. 4th. Bottle. Purchased.!!!! I will say nothing more than that... EYE CREAM ⬇️ Kiehl's - Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado Look for my previous review post for this eye cream! I love love love this eye cream! Thanks babes & stay safe 🍒