Alcohol is one of the most misunderstood ingredients in skin care. Most people assume it is bad for skin because it dries it out, but this is only partly true. Not all alcohols are created equal. Some are of some benefit to the skin while others can be counterproductive – it all depends on the particular type and amount present in a product, and your skin type.
There’s good and bad both types of alcohol in skin care! Our aim is to make it easy for you to recognize which ones to avoid, and which ones to look for on the label.
• Alcohol (Surprise! It will sometimes be simply named “alcohol”.)
• Denatured alcohol
• Alcohol Denat.
• Ethyl alcohol
• Isopropyl alcohol
• SD alcohol
• Benzyl alcohol
When you see these names of alcohol listed on an ingredient label especially among the first five ingredients, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin, no matter what your skin type is.
These types of volatile alcohols immediately de-grease super oily skin, create a matte finish, and feel weightless on skin, so it’s easy to see their appeal. But those short term benefits end up with negative long term consequences.
• Cetyl alcohol
• Stearyl or isostearyl alcohol
• Cetearyl alcohol
• Lauryl alcohol
• Isopropyl myristate
• Isopropyl palmitate
• Glyceryl stearate
• Myristyl Alcohol
All of the above mentioned good, fatty alcohols are suitable for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type. They’re not drying or irritating to your skin at all. In fact, they have the opposite effect. They act as emollients which protect your skin and help it to keep moisture in.
Here is a quick reference guide for you to save to your phone and use while shopping!