Alcohol in cosmetics, why?

10 September 2020

Alcohol in cosmetics

There is a lot of uncertainty about alcohol in cosmetics. Alcohol is known to dry out the skin and cause irritation.

So why is it in cosmetics? And what does it do?

Alcohol is used for several reasons. First of all, it has a degreasing effect. It is therefore often found in cleansing products for oily skin. Also because of its antibacterial properties alcohol is an important ingredient.

In facial tonics, for example, alcohol is added because of its degreasing properties and in deodorants alcohol is used to dispel odors.

One alcohol is not the other. There are different forms and types of alcohol: natural alcohol, synthetic alcohol and fatty alcohol.

Alcohol is a natural raw material. Alcohol is produced by natural fermentation of vegetable sugars found in fruits or from brewing cereals (mainly from corn, sugar cane or cereals – wheat and rye). The quality of the alcohol is strongly influenced by the production process used.

  • Natural (100%) alcohol is often denatured (made undrinkable) due to its lower cost. The agents used for this purpose are often of synthetic origin and make this alcohol undrinkable. The denatured alcohol (synthetic alcohol) is a cheap raw material often used in cosmetic production. This cosmetic alcohol can, due to the synthetic agents used, cause allergic reactions.
  • Synthetic alcohol in cosmetics is bad for your skin. With regular use of high concentrations it can disrupt the natural barrier function of the skin. It makes the skin more prone to redness, acne and dehydration. Regular use of acne skin cleansers with high levels of synthetic alcohol is recommended for oily skin. This may cause the skin to produce more sebum to protect itself. Thus, the product has an opposite effect.
  • Fat-alcohol is a part of natural fat or oil. Hydrogen is added to the fatty acid under pressure. The end product of fatty acid and hydrogen is a fatty alcohol: a waxy compact substance. Although chemically it does belong to the alcohol group, it cannot be compared to pure alcohol and its properties. This form of alcohol has no dehydrating effect on the skin. Examples are ceteary alcohol, braenyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetyl alcohol.

The form of alcohol that is bad for your skin is the type that dehydrates and sometimes even irritates your skin. These include denat or SD alcohol, which are the two most common ones. Other ‘bad’ types of alcohol are methanol, ethanol, benzyl, ethyl and isopropyl alcohol.

The concentration of alcohol in cosmetics

On the INCI list of a product you can see if there is alcohol in the product, and usually what form it is. You can also tell from the INCI list whether the concentration of alcohol in the product is high. The higher an ingredient is on the INCI list, the higher its concentration. So if alcohol is low on the INCI list, its concentration does not exceed 10%.

There is no alcohol added in our Miracles. However, alcohol is listed on our INCIs, as a component of the natural herbal extracts added for efficacy. Like the ingredients cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol which are not real alcohols, this is a herbal version.

Cetearyl alcohol is a compound alcohol. It consists of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. In our products there is a cetearyl alcohol that is completely vegetable and is extracted from coconut and palm kernel oil. Because cetearyl alcohol is made from oil, it is automatically a fatty alcohol. In a product it allows you to mix fat and water. This allows you to make a cream that is slightly lubricating, but still has the good properties of fat in it.

It replenishes the skin’s own lipid layer and prevents water from evaporating from the top layer of the skin. In addition, cetearyl alcohol is a safe substance.

The conclusion is that there are many different forms and types of alcohol. One alcohol is not the other!

Manufacturers of regular cosmetics and care products denature (make undrinkable) the alcohol by adding toxic solvents (so you can no longer speak of a natural ingredient).

On the other hand, the alcohol in natural cosmetics is denatured using essential oils and other natural substances! A big difference, which most people don’t know about. We hope to have made you a little wiser.

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