Alcohol isn’t always the bad guy!
There seems to be this belief out there that alcohol is a no no for your skin. No one wants to play with the poor guy. In some cases alcohol applied topically to your skin can be dehydrating and damaging (especially pure alcohol – ethanol/alcohol SD 40). However, this isn’t always the case.
You see, alcohol can take on many forms and along with other ingredients (other hydrating ingredients which balance out the dehydrating effects) it can help the penetration and absorption of other ingredients. It’s important to always check what form the alcohol comes in and what amount (concentration). Alcohols can even be HYDRATING as crazy as that may seem at first. This is because they can act as slip agents and/or emollients, allowing faster and deeper penetration of other ingredients into the epidermis (skin). Futurederm recommends the 4 C’s in terms of hydrating alcohols in skincare – stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cetostearyl alcohol, and the C12-15 alcohols. That’s not to say that every alcohol applied topically is fantastic plastic, but if you steer towards these ingredients mentioned, along with other great ingredients your skin won’t shrivel up and die, in fact it should be pretty happy!
I’m always a bit suss when ‘skin experts’ or beauticians start proclaiming to know as much about skin care as dermatologists or other scientists do (that’s not to say there’s some great ones out there), but in saying that there’s always differing options out there even between scientists that study these type of chemical reactions and affects. If you’d like to read up some more on the issue have a look at this great article by Futurederm (aka – Nicki Zevola) especially the comments to the article as well – she has some great insight into the debate and answers a lot of questions on the topic.
I hope this has shed some light on the topic, it’s definitely not as straight forward as it may seem at first – as a nerd I love this kind of stuf! Come say hi to me on here and let me know what you think about the topic 🙂
Catch ya later Alligator!
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