We're in a dangerous phase of excessive skin care right now. Regardless of skin type or skin concerns, we are quick to apply anything promoted by influencers and bloggers and expect miracles. But you might not see the benefits you were hoping for if a certain skincare product contains alcohol.
In some situations, it's easy to detect the presence of alcohol because of overpowering aromas. Still, it can be challenging in other situations.
Are alcohol-based products bad for the skin?
Healthy fatty alcohols and negative fatty alcohols are two major categories that can be used to categorize the alcohol found in skincare products. Fatty alcohols are excellent emollients and thickeners. For instance, all of your waxes are fatty alcohols.
Fatty chains are absent from regular alcohols like isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Although they are intended to be antiseptic, they eventually dry up the skin and create inflammation and discomfort. Denatured alcohols, one of the bad guys, are well-liked since their low production costs. Alcohols like ethanol, methyl, isopropyl, and benzoyl are a few examples. The latter is the most affordable and popular option.
Why use these?
It offers a nice feeling when blended with any skincare product, including a toner, cleanser, or moisturizer. For instance, when you use a moisturizer, it seems as though nothing has been applied at all. It dries out right away since it is more pliable. However, it only improves your mood for that brief period before your skin starts to thin. Your skin becomes drier and more sensitive with time.
So even though you might feel fantastic using these things, you shouldn't. The worst is that Indian skin doesn't require an astringent. Benzyl alcohol, for example, stretches your skin and depletes 10% of its water content. Most people with oily skin enjoy how alcohol makes their skin feel—dry, tight, goodbye oil—but using products containing the bad guys (such as denatured alcohol, etc.) promotes and increases oil production.
Do some forms of alcohol benefit skin health?
It's not all bad news, either. There are excellent alcohols, and the heavier-molecular-weight fatty alcohols are particularly helpful for your skin. Look for cetearyl or stearyl on the ingredient list. The larger molecular weight of these fatty alcohols helps to seal in moisture. They also aid in the absorption of retinoids and vitamin C by your skin.
How to choose an alcohol-containing skincare product?
It's acceptable if there is very little alcohol present. It is used to dissolve chemicals. However, it is problematic if it makes up most of a product. The list of ingredients should include it close to the end. Thicker skin can withstand alcohol better than thinner skin.
Remember the basics, and always do a patch test.