How Much Alcohol Can Our Skin Take?

And of course we are not talking about shots or margaritas that accompany our nights out but about the alcohol included in the cosmetic products we consume and wear. Do you actually know when this is good for your skin and when not?

With this article we intend to give you all the information you need so that you can protect the most valuable organ of your bodies, your skin. It is a well-known fact that everyone wishes to have a fresh face and everyone loves the invigorating feeling provided by a cosmetic product based on alcohol.

On the other hand, teenage and young people that suffer from oiliness and acme stick to cleaning products that contain alcohol since they feel that only these can help them with the annoying skin glare and offer to their skin a sense of freshness. Alcohol, though, is not simply an ingredient. It has many faces and it can be used in many products, not all of the them skin-friendly.

Alcohol under the microscope

If you remember anything from the chemistry lessons you took in school, there is a group of substances called alcohols. This term that replaced during the years of alchemists the ancient Greek term of spirits, the substances that is that derive from wine distillation, comes from the Arabic word al-kuhul. Alcohols are found either in liquid or solid state and each one has its own characteristics and attributes.

In cosmetic products based on alcohol (their content ranges usually from 6-10%), ethanol or ethyl alcohol (the same that is present in alcoholic beverages) is used. It is a product of sugar fermentation but it can produced also synthetically and it is listed in the list of ingredients as alcohol or alcohol denat (when denaturing substances are used to add a bitter taste).

Furthermore, these last years we find in many cosmetic products solid alcohols (aliphatics) that can be used as emulsifiers and stabilizers-ingredients that provide the product with the necessary structure and feel.

Alcohols: useful and beneficial

Alcohols in solid form come from natural resources. For instance, cetyl and stearyl alcohol, the most common one, comes from palm oil or coconut oil. Through a complex and complicated process, they are turned into fatty alcohols. Their use is wide, not only because they improve the formula and the efficiency of many cosmetic products but also for their beneficial emollient and moisturizing use, especially for dry skins and hair.

But, you need to be extra careful while using cosmetic products based on alcohol. A scientific study conducted on 2003 has shown that the constant exposure of skin to cosmetic products based on alcohol corrupts its protective barrier, alters its pH and helps in the creation and formation of free roots, one of the many causes of premature ageing.

So, be careful with the products you use on your skin and always consult with a dermatologist to advise you on how often you can use similar products as well as if a product is suitable for your skin type.

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