Alcohol Derivatives has been a despised ingredient in skin care products for many years. They are notorious for drying the skin and cause irritations. However, not all alcohols are the same. There are certain alcohols that are good for the skin and have potential benefits.
Why are Alcohols Bad for the Skin?
Alcohols, by themselves can have severe impact on the skin. They dilate the blood vessels and interfere with the body’s ability to process Vitamin A. The reduced absorption of Vitamin A accelerates the process of premature aging and causes wrinkles and fine lines to appear on the skin. Alcohol consumption also results in increased flushing of the skin, decreased absorption and efficacy of vitamin A, and increased toxicity of vitamin A and ß-carotene.
Moisturizers that contain a low molecular weight of alcohol fail to be effective because they quickly evaporate from the skin surface. Some of the alcohols that you should completely avoid are ethanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and SD alcohol. Denatured or ‘SD’ signifies that the alcohols are processed so they cannot be ingested.
Alcohols That Are Good
There are several cosmetic alcohols that are actually very beneficial for the skin. Also known as fatty alcohols, they help skin care formulations to act as efficient skin care products.
Here are some beneficial alcohols:
Extracted from coconut oil, it is an emollient that is included in skin care products to stabilize the formulations. It is a prime ingredient in moisturizers because it helps the moisturizer lock the moisture in the skin and form a protective barrier through which water cannot penetrate. Moreover, cetyl alcohol is also added to skin care products to alter their consistencies or to increase their foaming capacity. It is often included in baby lotions, hand creams, foundation, lipsticks, shampoos, mascara, deodorants, nail polish removers etc.
Like the former, stearyl alcohol is also derived from coconut oil. Because it is an emollient as well as an emulsifier, it can be substituted for cetyl alcohol to firm skin care formulations. It is mostly found in creams, lubricants, depilatories and conditioners.
Cetearyl alcohol is an emulsifying wax that is used to soften thick formulas like skin ointments. Derived from natural oils and fats, it is very efficient in stabilizing skin care formulationsbecause it imparts an emollient feel to the skin. It can be used in water-in-oil emulsions, oil-in-water emulsions and anhydrous formulations. Cetearyl alcohol is widely used in cleansers, permanent hair color, face creams, eye make-up and sunblocks.
Lanolin alcohol is derived from the sebaceous glands of sheep’s wool. This is the reason why it is often believed to be an allergen and sensitizing agent. However, it is an excellent emollient and its lower concentrations result in lower sensitivity rates. It is used extensively in moisturizers, sunscreen, shaving creams and cosmetics.
It is absolutely safe to use alcohols that are listed safe to be used. In fact, lower concentrations of low molecular weight alcohols do not irritate the skin or cause irritations. All you need to do is to control alcohol consumption, especially so if you are using skin care products that contain Vitamin A.
Some Product Suggestions
Remergent Complete Cleanser
It is a superb skin cleanser that also provides pH correction ingredients which condition the skin and helps it achieve optimal treatment results. It not only deep cleans the skin but also tones it all the time taking care not to cause any dryness. Some of its essential benefits are:
It cleans the skin and tones it thoroughly
It removes all the dirt, debris, residue particles and make-up elements
It prepares the skin and helps it absorb active ingredients more efficiently
It balances the natural properties of the skin
It suits all skin types
It can be safely used two times a day, both in the morning and at night without causing skin dryness.
The product contains a list of ingredients comprising of alcohols like Decyl Oleate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol to name a few.
Obagi ELASTIderm Night Eye Cream
It’s an essential night eye cream that not only improves the skin elasticity but also makes the skin firmer, radiant and youthful. It works at night when the body rests and repairs itself naturally. With regular use, it diminishes wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet and replenishes the collagen and elastin fibers within the skin.
Elastiderm Night Cream contains both Stearyl and Cetyl alcohol.
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