Alcohol in skincare – are they all bad?

I think that by now many people have realized that alcohol in skincare is really bad news. Alcohol dries out the skin, strips skin of its protective layer, and it causes irritation and inflammation. Even somebody with really oily skin should not use products that contain alcohol. It dries out the skin so much that it not only makes the inflammation that comes with acne much worse. In addition, the skin reacts to this kind of attack with the production of even more oil to make up for what was so forcefully removed. And the fact that so many people with acne have a very red face allover is basically only due to irritating skincare products.

 Checking out the ingredient label to make sure a skincare product doesn’t contain alcohol is an important first step. However, there is a hitch…

 Not every ingredient that has the word “alcohol” in its name is necessarily evil. Some ingredients, such as Stearyl Alcohol, and Cetearyl Alcohol; so-called “fatty” alcohols, are completely benign thickeners and emollients. They are mild and often even plant derived.

The types of alcohol to look out for (and to avoid) are the following ones:

SD alcohol
Alcohol denat.
Benzyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol
Ethyl alcohol

Now, a word of reassurance: If a skincare product has a really long ingredient list (i.e. 15+ ingredients), and at the very end you see “SD Alcohol”, don’t freak out. Chances are that the amount of bad alcohol in this product is so tiny that your skin won’t mind.

If alcohol shows up within the first third of the ingredient list; looking for another product would be a good idea…

Love your skin!


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