Alcohol in skincare - is it always a bad thing?
You may never have considered that many skincare products contain alcohol - it might not be too much of a surprise to find it in products that are formulated for oily skins, but alcohol can even be found in products designed to moisturize the skin.
But how do you work out which alcohols to avoid, and which are good for your skin? And what ingredients should you look out for on the ingredients label?
What are the common alcohol ingredients found in skincare products?
- Denatured Alcohol is formulated so that it is undrinkable, meaning cosmetics companies don’t have to pay duty on it. It’s often found in skincare, haircare, fragrances, and makeup. Look out for labels containing Alcohol Denat, methyl alcohol, or SD alcohol.
- Ethyl Alcohol is also a form of denatured alcohol and is used in cosmetics. Look out for ethanol or grain alcohol on the label.
- Isopropyl Alcohol is used in hair care, skin care and nail products, and is commonly known as rubbing alcohol.
- Benzyl Alcohol occurs naturally in fruit and is used in soaps, cosmetics, cleansers, and hair care products.
- Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, or Lanolin Alcohol are fatty alcohols and are used in hair conditioner, foundation, eye makeup, moisturizers, and cleansers.
- Propylene Glycol is used in cosmetics, hair care products - and even some foodstuffs.
- Lanolin alcohol is derived from wool and is used in body creams and lotions.
- Retinol - also known as vitamin A - is sometimes used in face creams, serums, and eye creams.
- Tocopherol is the form of vitamin E most commonly found in skincare products.
What are bad alcohols?
Denatured or isopropyl alcohol give products a quick-drying, lightweight oil-free finish on the skin. Their astringent properties mean that they are often used in toners and gel moisturizers targeted at oily skin.
Used in moderate concentration, they can be very helpful for oily and acne-prone skins. However, if these ingredients appear high concentrations (near the top of the ingredients list), they can cause dryness and damage the skin’s natural protective barrier. And for oily or acne-prone skin, using products containing these types of alcohol in excess concentration may even be counter-productive, as they can encourage oil production and enlarged pores.
Denatured, ethyl, isopropyl, and benzyl alcohol can aggravate dry and sensitive skin, and cause increased inflammation in skin conditions such as rosacea.
What are good alcohols?
Fatty alcohols can actually have very beneficial properties for the skin. As you might expect from the name, they can be very helpful in products such as cleansers and moisturizers targeted at dry and dehydrated skins and can form a protective barrier. They are non-irritating, help improve the texture of products, and help stabilize the ingredients in cosmetic formulations. In fact, ingredients such as cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol are fine in small quantities for any skin type
Cetyl is a product thickener, stearyl is an emollient which traps moisture in the skin, cetearyl alcohol is an emulsifier so keeps products shelf-stable, and propylene glycol acts a humectant to attract water into the skin. Vitamin A is also known as retinol and is often used in skin-smoothing products and those that target acne. Vitamin E can be helpful in healing and repairing damaged skin and is moisturizing and hydrating.
Depending on the type of alcohol used, and the concentration it is found in, it can be beneficial when used in skincare and other personal care products. Not all alcohols are created equally - and while your perception may be that they will be drying, with certain types of alcohol, the reverse is true. Fatty alcohols can stabilize and preserve products and can be moisturizing and hydrating, whereas other types of alcohol can be incredibly drying, especially for dry or sensitive skin. Always check the ingredients label and refer to our guide before adding a new product to your skincare routine, and if in doubt, consult a dermatologist.
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
@cheriethanks for the cute sweatshirt! I am obsessed. Here is my am routine! sisley - FLORAL TONING LOTION First I tone and prep my skin with this toner. I love this toner so much because it is so hydrating and doesn’t strip the skin. It also moisturizes while helping to clean and prep it to absorb other products. NATURIUM - Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2% Then I use this essence. I love this brand so much and this essence is so hydrating and light. It helps plump and prepares it for the serum. NATURIUM - Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% Next I use this serum which I have been enjoying. It is super gentle that I can even use it during the day. So far my skin has been tolerating it very well. I also notice my dark spots decreasing much quicker. LORD JONES - Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer Then I use this moisturizer that I am obsessed with. It so far has been my favorite product of the year. It’s so hydrating and calming. It feels amazing on the skin as well. Last I finish off with a sunscreen. I previously reviewed this before! It’s from Korean brand Corthe. ^^ what do you like to do in your morning routine?
Is this sunscreen worth the hype?
There is 𝗻𝗼 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗻 without 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻. And, the 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 is the one that you will wear religiously. Is 𝗜𝗦𝗗𝗜𝗡 𝗘𝗿𝘆𝗳𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗮 𝗔𝗴𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗨𝗹𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 tinted mineral sunscreen worth the hype? #Isdin - ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight tinted mineral sunscreen[products]#[FourStars] Pros ☀️ 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹 sunscreen aka physical blocker, thus broad spectrum ☀️ Contains 𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘅𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀, though unclear of percent. May provide protection against blue light. ☀️ One of the few tinted moisturizers that blends in well in skin of color. The tint is so homogenous and nice that you can away with not applying foundation after. ☀️ Contains 𝗽𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗹𝘆𝗮𝘀𝗲, an enzyme, that help repair damage caused by the sun. Not too thick or too thin, apply easily on the skin. ☀️ contains 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗘, an antioxidant as well as moisturizing Cons 🥴 𝗢𝗶𝗹𝘆, would not recommend for oily skin 😱 $$$ 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲, it is definitely a splurge when there are comparable more frugal options out there.
🌟Creator Spotlight 🏷Beauty Year-in-review
Check out@jassintadoepost on her exploration on balancing family, creative work, and self-care in 2020. Share your own journey in 🏷 Beauty Year-in-review “From starting 2020 with a seven day old newborn baby and all the crazy hormones and changes to my body, skin and hair which goes with a new baby (yes, this is why I look exhausted and have something spilt on my top in the February photo 🙈😂) to a global pandemic which resulted in my husband working from home and suddenly needing to learn how to homeschool my older daughter this year has been crazy and challenging to adjust and find the right balance.”
The Organic Skin Co.
Have you tried this brand yet. This brand is The Organic Skin. THE ORGANIC SKIN Co. - Cheeky Lips • This product is a blush and lip product. Versatile, multi-purpose blush Designed to provide a perfect natural flush and the pout to match. • Cheeky Lips comes in eight bangin’, long-lasting, highly pigmented colors. • Whether you’re looking for a soft pink blush for your cheeks and lips. • Organic castor seed oil and supercritical extracts of rosemary, pomegranate and calendula will help to replenish your cheeks and lips, keeping them smooth and healthy. 💭 I wasn't sure how to use this product when I first received it. The color is very pretty. The texture is soft and smooth. I used this on my lips. The color is very pigmented and long lasting. I tried this on my cheeks and wasn't a fan. It was too greasy for my liking. #The Organic Skin - Natural Lipstick[products]#[TwoStars] • This lipstick comes in 12 colors. With the added benefits of calendula and rosemary supercritical extracts, as well as nourishing organic oils and carnauba wax. Shades: Coral & Ruby Red 💭 I really wanted to like these lipsticks. The packaging is so pretty. The issue is the texture. These lipsticks are a little rough. I wasn't able to wear it by itself. You Definitely have to apply a gloss before using or it will break. Unfortunately it became to stressful to use. lol They wouldn't apply the right way. #The Organic Skin - TASK FORCE NINECALENDULA AND TURMERIC CREAM [products]#[FiveStars] • Infused with 9 active natural ingredients – aloe vera, jojoba seed oil, lemon peel oil, calendula, turmeric, rosemary, honeysuckle, vanilla, and seabuckthorn – this multi-tasking treatment cream has moisturizing, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. 💭 This is a nice everyday cream. The texture is nice and light. It leaves your skin smooth and moisturized. It's non-greasy and smells amazing. This cream is good for all skin types including sensitive skin. #The Organic Skin - The Eyes Have it[products]#[FourStars] • With 8 colors to choose from you can mix, match and blend our cream eye shadows. Highly pigmented, long-lasting, multi-hued, and full of supercritical extracts. How to use: Using your finger or an eye shadow brush, apply to your eyelids. Shades: Greenstone & Silhouette 💭 These are really nice eyeshadows especially if you like cream shadows. It's easy to apply and the texture is smooth. Once these shadows dry down, they stay in place. My issue was on of the shadows was hard. It kept rolling up as I was trying to get it out of the package. The shades are very pretty especially greenstone. It's very pigmented. I'm not sure if I would purchase any of these products. Your thoughts? (Gifted) #whoisnee #cheriecreator
Let’s learn a no heat style! ￼Start by gathering your hair to one side ￼Begin a rope braid in the front by twisting two pieces. Add hair to each section and twist again. Continue this pattern until you reach your ear. ￼Split the remaining hair into two. While holding the section pop index finger and thumb through. Grab through the other section and repeat! Secure with an elastic. Xo
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