Alcohol in skincare? The good and the bad.
I know when ingredients matter and you start paying attention to the ingredients seeing the word alcohol in your skincare can be quite confusing. I mean don't we want to be able to clearly spell and pronounce every ingredient in your products for it to be completely safe? When going the natural, holistic route shouldn't it be crystal clear?
Clear like vodka?
Well I'm here to help you out with the confusion behind alcohol; the good and the bad when it comes to skincare.
When I started my plant based, naturally derived skincare journey I was like many that if I even saw the word alcohol I gasped. How could that be good for you? I was prone to leave the alcohol to my wine or margarita because I know my liver can handle it but to think that could be good for my skin it had me do some digging.
Let's start with the bad. The drying type.
- SD alcohol (40)
- denatured alcohol
- isopropyl alcohol
- benzyl alcohol
These types of volatile alcohols give products a quick-drying finish, make creams feel lighter, help other ingredients to penetrate your skin and act as a preservative. so it's easy to see the appeal especially for those with oily skin. If your skin is oily, it can be tempting to use alcohol-based products because they prove an immediate matte finish.
These short term benefits end up with negative long term consequences. Alcohol weakens everything about skin. The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps, enlarged pores, dryness, irritation and breakouts.
The Good alcohol
- Cetearyl Alcohol (used in our Acai Age Defense Moisturizer, Acai Berry with Rosehip Seed Oil Face Polish and Acai Berry with Seabuckthorn Oil Body Polish)
- Cetyl Alcohol
- Stearyl Alcohol
- Myristyl Alcohol
- Lauryl Alcohol
These are types of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols, which are non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. These are typically derived from natural fats and oils, often from coconut and palm oil (ours is from sustainable palm oil!). It's the good type of fat. These are good ingredients for dry skin, and in a small amounts fine for any skin type as they give pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. They even moisturize skin because of the natural fatty acid content.
So there you have it! I hope we cleared up a little bit of the misunderstanding alcohols have in skincare. There is the good and the bad. Make sure you know which ones your putting on your skin!
I got you! Here is a quick reference guide to take when shopping!