Is alcohol bad for your skin? Alcohols do show up on numerous skincare products from moisturizers to body cleansers to toners and washes. Well, one of the most common ingredients in skincare products is alcohol. Alcohol in skin care is divided into two camps: good fatty alcohols and denatured alcohols.
The general agreement when it comes to denatured alcohols is that they weaken the natural barrier of skin with time and can leave skin battling with oxidative damage, commonly known as premature aging. These sorts of alcohols can strip your skin of natural protective oils, so the skin becomes dry and susceptible to bacteria that causes skin aging.
While you should steer clear of alcohols, there are other favorite skincare products containing good alcohols. In some amounts, good alcohols prove useful in decreasing super oily skin and creating a smooth matte finish. These sorts of alcohols are good for they absorb better into the skin. The following are the good and bad of alcohol for skincare.
The Bad Alcohols
When we talk about the bad alcohols, we are simply referring to those types that are listed as SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or denatured alcohol. These alcohol types provide a rapid drying finish and usually feel weightless on skin, which means they are appealing particularly for people with oily skin. But, these are only short-term benefits which end up bringing about negative long-term consequences.
Bad alcohols are simply bad for all skin types and can cause dryness and erosion of the skin surface. These alcohols affect how the skin replenishes and rejuvenates itself. Such types of alcohols affect everything about skin, which is extremely dangerous.
Bad alcohols include isopropyl, ethanol, methanol, and alcohol denat. These alcohols seem good because they help other ingredients penetrate the skin and act as preservatives. But they have a downside as they can ultimately cause dryness, irritation and breakouts.
The Good Alcohols
Meanwhile, there are other alcohols whose chemical structure is good for your skin. Good alcohols are derived from natural oils and fat. They are emollient, thick, and velvety alcohols that moisturize your skin.
Good alcohols include cetearyl, stearyl, cetyl, myristyl, and aracidyl alcohols derived from natural sources like coconut oil. Good alcohols are typically used as stabilizers and emulsifiers in skincare products to maintain the pleasant texture of skin as well as moisturize it. These good alcohols leave your skin feeling tight and refreshed.
Fatty alcohols are never irritating and are beneficial for dry skin. These types of alcohols are reasonably ideal for people with oily skin and acne. Good alcohols often kill bacteria-causing acne and reduce breakouts. Also, they rapidly de-grease skin, hence providing an instant gratification for those of us suffering with super-oily skin complexions.
Bad alcohols initially de-grease your skin and remove surface bacteria. But when used on a long-term basis, these alcohols disrupt the protective function of the skin and dissolve the liquid layer that protects your skin and keeps it hydrated.
Fatty alcohols, often known as good alcohols, are non-irritating and exceptionally good for skin. They are derived from natural fats and oils like palm oil and coconut. These types of alcohol are great for dry skin and their natural fatty acid content can moisturize your skin.