What kind of alcohol to avoid in your skincare

With how much misleading information there is online in regards to alcohol in skincare, it’s easy to see why some people believe it really isn’t all that bad for skin. However, the research (and we mean a lot of research) makes it perfectly clear: alcohol as a main ingredient in any skincare product is a problem.

We know we can’t convince everyone but we hope the latest research, and, if you’ll pardon the pun, sobering facts about alcohol-based products, will help you put down the bottle if alcohol is lurking at the top of the ingredient list (we know, another pun, but we couldn’t help ourselves).

But first we need to clarify what kind of alcohol we want you to avoid.

Bad vs. Good Alcohol in Cosmetic Formulas

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to a drying type of alcohol that you’ll most often see listed on an ingredient label as SD alcoholdenatured alcohol, or, less often, isopropyl alcohol. These types of volatile alcohols give products a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless on skin, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin.

But those short term benefits end up with negative long term consequences.

When you see these names of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin. No way around that, it’s simply bad for all skin types. Consequences include dryness, erosion of the surface of skin (that’s really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

There are other types of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetylstearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. It’s important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.

Likewise, you may have heard that alcohol is a good ingredient because it helps other ingredients like retinol and vitamin C absorb into skin more effectively. Although it’s true that it does enhance absorption of ingredients, the alcohol also destroys skin’s surface and the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term. There are certainly other, gentler ways to get good ingredients into skin, without damaging its outer layer, an issue that causes more problems than benefits.

How Alcohol Damages Skin and Makes Breakouts Worse

If your skin is oily, it can be tempting to use alcohol-based products because they provide an immediate matte finish, essentially de-greasing the “oil slick.” The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores.

Alcohol can actually increase oiliness, so the immediate de-greasing effect is eventually counteracted, prompting your oily skin to look even more shiny.

The studies are clear: Alcohol harms your skin’s protective surface, depletes vital substances needed for healthy skin, and makes oily skin worse. To put it simply, it’s pro-aging. Given the hundreds of skin-friendly alternatives that are available, it’s essential to abstain from products front-loaded with the skin damaging forms of alcohol.

THREE DAILY HABITS TO A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

During this busy lifestyle, the simplest habits can have a profound and lasting impact on your life.  We all know that, it’s the small things that count.  So what are you doing daily to build a healthy life?

Today I wanted to share with you easy habits that you can start incorporating into your daily routine to improve your mind and body.

1. DRINK LEMON WATER

This is a new habit for me, but I have started to drink a hot cup of lemon water first thing in the morning everyday.  Not only will this help wake up your liver and digestive tract but lemons also help you naturally detox your system.  By drinking hot water with lemon, you will also be balancing your pH as lemons are an alkaline food.

Plus, most of us don’t drink enough water, and creating a daily lemon water habit is a great way to force down the good stuff.

 

2. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day – not only will it provide you with the energy and nutrients for the day and can help you maintain a healthy body weight… but it also sets the tone for the rest of the day.

When I start my day off right, I feel good and energized and am more likely to keep up my healthy habits for the remainder of my day.

Yummy fruit and granola in an acai bowl is a great way to go – it’s super filling too!

 

3. TAKE THE STAIRS

Instead of taking the escalator, choose the stairs.   I especially love taking the stairs after I have been sitting on an airplane for so long.  It feels so good to move my legs and I can’t help but feel a little pride when everyone else shuffles onto the escalators.

But in all seriousness, just remember that it’s the little things that we do daily that will help make a significant impact to help improve our lives.