Last Call for Alcohol!

In honor of the new year, let’s chat about alcohol. Not the kind that will have most of you tipsy come the stroke of midnight, but the kind that is found in our cosmetics. Any sensible esthetician or beauty professional would advise you to stay away from products that contain “bad alcohol”, but upon reading your product ingredients, you’ll see that many of them contain an alcohol of some kind. How do you know what to avoid? I made a chart (but we will get to that later).

Alcohols are part of a group of organic compounds. They can be at higher and lower molecular weights. Higher molecular weights mean they are heavier in texture and work to hydrate/protect the skin. In other words, we like high molecular weight alcohols! The lower molecular weight alcohols are the ones that are more watery in substance. They dry the skin out and can sometimes create chain reactions of damage in the skin.

Check the ingredients of your fav products to see if they contain any bad alcohols. Sometimes you may notice a small amount of low molecular alcohols in your retinol or vitamin C products. They are there to help disrupt the top layer of the skin to allow the vitamin A (retinol) and C to absorb into the skin more effectively. This means if the bad alcohol is (very) low on the ingredient list, it may not exactly be harmful to you. Just use the product sparingly!

Good Alcohols

(high molecular weight)

Bad Alcohols

(low molecular weight)

Caprylic

Cetearyl

Cetyl

Decyl

Isostearyl

Lauryl

Myristyl

Oleyl

Stearyl

Ethanol

Ethyl

Denatured alcohol

Methanol

Isopropyl

SDA

Benzyl

Happy New Year to you! Always remember to Glow Responsibly! 🙂

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