I remember how I bought a toner to try it for the first time of my life. I chose it by the attractive name and because recognized some of the natural ingredients in it. I thought that was enough to make a right decision on which toner to get. I started using it twice a day for my face, right after the shower. It was and was restoring my pH balance, but then my face was drying out so bad that moisturizing cream barely helped. Also, I remember how my face started breaking out. I was in a panic because usually my face is always clean. I tried various diets, to drink more water, even changed my sunscreen. Took me a while to realize that the toner was the problem because contained a harmful alcohol in the ingredient list.
Then I’ve been asked by friends and also questioned myself: is alcohol bad for skin, being in a skin care and are there are different kinds of alcohol that might be good?
So the answer is various. There are types of alcohol that are bad, and the other ones are good in a small portion.
First of all watch out for the first five ingredients in your skin care and makeup – those 5 are the strongest that prevail in the products. If you see alcohol in a first 5, run away from that product!
Even though alcohol does help retinol and Vitamin C get absorbed into your cells better, at the same time it destroys your skin layer and making it very harsh that will damage your skin more plus affect it in a long term.
So what is dangerous alcohol for your skin?
Alcohol denat, SD alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol or “simple alcohol” are the worst. The reason skin care companies use them is because this alcohol dries out the makeup and creams on your face very fast, which makes it feel lighter, especially for oily skin. But indeed alcohol is just drying out the product and your skin at the same time, so you get more harm than benefits.
People with oily skin and acnes tend to believe that alcohol can help to solve their skin problems and use in all the time. Indeed, as an immediate effect, it does remove the oil from the skin, leaving in visually perfect. Unfortunately, alcohol keeps affecting your skin long after it dries out.
In this case let’s discuss what happens on your face on a micro level: alcohol molecules drying out the extra oil you have on your face (and you feel satisfied), then it dries out the rest of the oil that you actually need for your face to look moist and healthy, then it dries out the protective barrier your skin have and the water from the skin surface.
What came to my surprise was that a lot of lip balms are made with harmful alcohol as an ingredient. And when to apply it on the lips we first feel a great relieve and moisturizing effect, but after 10 minutes our lips are terribly dry again, and we have to apply it again and again.
So what is beneficial alcohol for your skin?
On the other hand, Behenyl, Cetyl, Cetearyl and Stearyl alcohol, or “fatty alcohol” are not harmful and help skin to absorb beneficial ingredients better. They are called fatty alcohols and came from natural fats and oils, in this case, they can work as a great moisturizer.
SKIN CARE TO WATCH OUT FOR:
- The most popular skin care product that often contains harmful alcohol is the toner. Carefully read the ingredient list and buy it if you see a fatty alcohol in it instead of the harmful one. This thorough research may save you from the unnecessary breakout and non-planned early wrinkles and blemish face. I use Poppy Austin 100% Pure Rose Water Toner for my dry skin. If your skin is oily, you may want to get a toner that contains a natural plant Witch Hazel that great with helping to control oil production. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner is a good choice and one of the Amazon best sellers.
- Lip Balm. As of my own experience, I really suffered through the winter day when my lips was drying out so fast and lip balm barely helped. The only relieve my lips had was as night, when I applied Vaseline (that protects the skin from loosing water) on top of the organic moisturizer on my lips. Now we aware of the harmful ingredients and I would recommend to be very simple with lip balm choice, like Pre De Provence 100% Pure Shea Butter Balm that naturally has vitamins C, E and moisturizing elements in it. Herbivore Botanicals – Natural Coco Rose Lips Tint contains natural oils and vitamins as well as giving you a little color for sexier lips. La Lune Naturals Certified Organic lip balm if you prefer it with flavor.
- Face Wash. Similar to toners, better be natural and alcohol-free. Laritelle Organic Face Wash contains chamomile, green tea, witch hazel, vitamins C, E, B3, B6 and is going to take a good care of your face.
Be careful with the skin care you use for your face, because face skin is thinner then body and wrinkles, dryness, redness appear more often and much faster. When you use same product for your body, you may not experience visual harmful effect, but the actual effect is still there.
Important to remember to stay away from the products that have alcohol stated in first five ingredients, as those are main ingredients. Stay away from any skin care that contains “simple alcohol” and feel free to use the skin care that contains “fatty alcohol”, as it gives the opposite effect – moisturizes and softens your skin.