Do I need alcohol in a cosmetic composition?

Alcohol (alcohol) – one of the ingredients of cosmetic compositions,
which often falls out of favor and causes a lot of controversy
users. For this reason, the question is whether alcohol is needed in
cosmetic composition, always remains open. but
experts disagree and can not give unambiguous
answer in this question. Some recommend avoiding all medications, in
the composition of which includes alcohol, while others advise to avoid it
a certain kind, and others boldly use. Let’s find out
what is dangerous is alcohol in cosmetic products and how it can harm
our skin.


  • Does loan need alcohol in cosmetics ?
  • Kinds of alcohol in cosmetics
  • As indicated by the alcohol on the label of the cream
  • Conclusion

Does loan need alcohol in cosmetics?

If alcohol is considered harmful to the skin, then why
manufacturers add it to the cosmetic composition? After all, it can
find not only in the composition of mass-market products, but also in cosmetics
class – luxury, pharmaceuticals, and even professional

Why is it added to tonic and cleansing gels? What role is he
does it perform there?

  1. Very often it is introduced into the product as a natural
    preservative. It can replace the notorious parabens, around which
    Dispute and excitement does not subside. In addition, parabens are allergens,
    which cause increased sensitivity of the body. In that
    Alcohol is much safer.
  2. It is also added to the line for a fat tone. Evaporating he
    reduces oily skin by making thick oily substances light and
    pleasant feeling.
  3. It helps to penetrate the active substances from the cream into the deep
    skin layers. How does this happen? It makes the skin barrier permeable.
    and allows the active substances to penetrate it deep into
    dermis. In chemical preparations this occurs due to glycols, and in
    organic cosmetics thanks to alcohol.
  4. Alcohol also acts as a solvent. It dilutes
    composition and breaks down hydrophobic molecules.
  5. Mixes two different substances, making it
  6. Normalizes the pH – serves as a buffer.
  7. Promotes disinfection of the cosmetic composition, performs
    the role of antiseptic.
  8. Neutralizes the development of adverse reactions and prevents
    a bundle of cosmetic composition. In this case, it acts as
  9. Suppresses the growth of bacteria and microorganisms; performs the function
  10. Improves the permeability of the skin, delivers active
    ingredients deep into the dermis.
  11. Fixes the fragrance of cosmetics.

So, we can say that for many manufacturers, alcohol
is a universal component that performs a whole
list of important functions.

Kinds of alcohol in cosmetics

Asian woman shopping in the store


Most women find this product harmful because it
dries and tightens the skin, irritates it and destroys its protective layer.
This opinion, on the one hand, is true, but everything depends on
type of alcohol and its quantity in the product. Alcohol itself
happens different types and is characterized by different properties.

So alcohol is a complex molecule that possesses one or
several hydroxyl groups (with the endings –OH).

So, its characteristics are determined by the quantity – OH and
the base molecule to which these very – OH are attached.

There are three main types of alcohol that
used in cosmetics:

  • simple;
  • aromatic;
  • fatty.

Let’s take a look at each species and find out what its harm or


This type is used as a disinfectant.
(antiseptic). I use it to give the product
antibacterial properties, and get as a result of fermentation
various carbohydrates, including starch and sugar. By its
consistency is very similar to water.

The simple group includes:

  • ethanol;
  • denatured;
  • methanol;
  • isopropyl.

This group of alcohol in large quantities is used in
care cosmetics, as its representatives perform the following

  • dissolve the ingredients;
  • possess tightening properties (briefly narrow
  • improve skin permeability (as a result of the destruction of the upper
    layer of the epidermis), help her absorb the ingredients from
    cosmetic substance, so they are often added to moisturizing
  • possess antiseptic properties (used as
    preservatives, because they replace parabens).

However, all these positive properties of simple alcohols
they turn out to be a great harm if used for a long time.
How do they affect the skin and what happens to it?

  1. In the first place – strongly irritate and dry the epidermis. They
    literally destroy the surface acid layer of the shell
    epidermis, thereby dehydrating it. This leads to irritation and
    the rapid emergence of early wrinkles, as well as skin diseases
    –Contact dermatitis.
  2. Destroy the lipid barrier of the skin. Our skin has
    natural protection so that it is protected from negative
    environmental exposure. Alcohol breaks down this barrier, makes
    epidermis defenseless and vulnerable to bacteria, allergens, viruses
    and irritants.
  3. Worsen the condition of the skin prone to acne and acne. Highly
    often alcohol is part of the preparations for oily skin,
    since he matizes her and disinfects. However, this effect does not
    has a prolonged action. Also, in addition to the effects on acne
    and acne, alcohol dries and irritates the skin, and a fat tone on such
    The irritant responds with even more intensive sebum production.
    And it turns out a vicious circle: a substance that should eliminate
    problem provokes its production.

Ethanol (ethyl)

Performs the following functions:

  • fragrance lock;
  • solvent;
  • drying agent;
  • antiseptic;
  • preservative.

This type of alcohol contributes to the rapid absorption of the cream in
skin and also quickly evaporates from its surface. Thereby
The property is used in the manufacture of perfumes. When applied locally
on the skin serves as an enhancer (increases
penetration of the drug into the skin) and contributes to the absorption
xenobiotics (alien chemicals). Very fast
dissolves sebum and dries the skin, but also quickly
evaporates from the surface of the epidermis. His rating is


Performs functions:

  • antiseptic;
  • preservative;
  • solvent;
  • defoamer.

In washable cleansing preparations acts as
solvent. Included in shampoos, hair rinses,
aftershave creams and lotions. It happens natural origin,
without impurities. Sometimes it replaces ethyl alcohol and is safe.
in a certain concentration. Only uncleaned appearance is dangerous
technical origin. It has a satisfactory rating at
use in cosmetics.


Acts as:

  • defoamer;
  • perfume ingredient;
  • solvent;
  • preservative.

Used as a solvent in cleanable and washable
cosmetic products: aftershave creams, rinses and
lotions. It can act as a substitute for ethyl alcohol.
Evaluation is unsatisfactory.


There are two types:

  • cinnamic;
  • benzyl.


It acts as a flavoring in the perfume composition.
It is a volatile flavoring with nuances of cinnamon, capable of
dehydrate and dry the skin. Its use in
cosmetic composition is undesirable.


Performs as a preservative. This alcohol has an organic
origin and is found in many fruits and tea. His high
the content gives the product a substantial floral scent,
because it is part of some essential oils (for example,
jasmine). In minimal quantities its use in
cosmetics is considered safe, but its excess can cause
severe irritation. In general, its use is considered


These substances are essentially alcohols, but
different effects on the skin and appearance. They are not
dehydrate and do not dry the epidermis, on the contrary, they are soft
softening effect and prevent the evaporation of moisture (have
occlusal action). They are characterized by thick wax
texture, and some have a solid state. Make a product
velvety and soft, and also give it a pleasant glide along
the surface of the epidermis.

These alcohols include:

  • caprylic;
  • lauric;
  • cetearyl;
  • behenyl;
  • stearyl, etc.

They are used as:

  • thickeners
  • emulsifiers;
  • emollients.

The most effective and at the same time safe are:

Lauril Laurat

It is considered the best substance from this category. Excellent softens and
improves the consistency of the product. He helps active substances
better absorbed into the skin, enhances their penetration, is considered the most
safe substance in the composition of the cosmetic composition.


Used as an emulsifier, preservative, emollient and
thickener. Helps to soften the skin. Rating –

Stearyl stearate

It has a softening and occlusive effect, perfectly moisturizes
and improves the consistency of the cosmetic. It is natural
wax that is made from fatty acids together with
synthetic fatty alcohols.

Also, oddly enough, there are many familiar to us
components of creams, which also apply to alcohols:

  • panthenol (an excellent tool that is a vitamin for
  • phytosphingosine (is an excellent preservative, nourishes and
    regenerates tired and atonic skin);
  • glycerin (acts as an emulsifier and solvent,
    perfectly moisturizes the epidermis).

As indicated by the alcohol on the label of the cream

  1. Ethyl – Ethyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Ethanol.
  2. Fatty – Stearylalcohol, Сetyl alcohol, Сеtearyl
  3. Isopropyl – Isopropyl alcohol, Propyl alcohol.
  4. Denatured Alcohol – Alcohol Denat, SD
    Alcohol, SD Alcohol 40.
  5. Aromatic benzyl – Benzyl Alcohol

Determine the exact alcohol content of the cream practically
impossible, because these labels on the label no. But since all
the components of the cream are presented in descending order, then, you can
say that the product mainly consists of the first six
components. All components are presented from the highest
concentration to the lowest. At the same time, if alcohol enters
the six of the first components does not mean that it is necessary
dehydrates, tightens or dries the skin. The creams are always included
fat emollient ingredients that prevent dehydration and
dryness. But the presence in the preparation of hard alcohol can
feel immediately because it provides a cooling effect
due to rapid evaporation. Drugs should be completely avoided.
which are intended for teenage problem skin. how
they usually have a very high content of simple alcohol because
It is intended for drying acne, acne, and matting
skin cover. With long-term use of such funds develops.
irritation and disturbed lipid barrier of the epidermis.


It is necessary to be afraid of methanol, ethanol and isopropyl, that is –
simple alcohols. Carefully treat the denatured. Not
to be afraid of benzyl and all fatty ones that have been named in this

Anyway, you should not be afraid of alcohol, you need to determine its appearance and
find out its characteristics.

Thus, meeting on the label the word Alcohol above all
you need to figure out which one is represented in the tool and only
then decide whether to buy the product or not. Well, even if it is you
embarrassing, it is necessary to pay attention to the manufacturer,
reputation and quality will speak in favor of safe

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