First of all: Alcohol is good for the skin if it is not "alcohol". Sounds confusing? It gets better! We distinguish "good" from "bad" alcohols and say that products are alcohol-free even though they contain alcohol. Uff. Time for pure wine.
Alcohol is good for your skin and your cosmetics (if it is good alcohol!)
We know alcohol from beer, wine and one or two schnapps - more precisely: ethanol or ethyl alcohol. We also know from a few beers, wines and schnapps that alcohol has some nice properties. But before the bad ones make themselves felt. There is no good high without physical consequences.
It's similar in cosmetics, at least when we look at the alcohol (and not the "good" alcohol): first it makes a great impression, then it makes us look old.
But one by one:
Thanks to their (chemical) properties in cosmetics, good and bad alcohols have some remarkable functions!
- dissolves fats,
- extracts active ingredients from herbal components,
- kills bacteria (is antibacterial),
- supports the application properties of creams as a very light substance,
- deoils and mattifies the skin,
- preserves creams and
- is a "penetration enhancer", which means that it penetrates the skin well and can transport active ingredients such as vitamins C and E well. (By the way, we saved ourselves the wordplay about penetration enhancers at this point. You're welcome.)
So far so good. But:
Alcohol is bad for your skin (if it is bad alcohol)
For cosmetics, "bad" alcohol corresponds to the normal drinking alcohol that we know from spirits. This alcohol is often denatured in cosmetics with phthalates - this means: made inedible. What for? If it is not drinkable, it does not have to be taxed. This makes "bad" alcohol even cheaper. And even worse for your health, because:
Phthalates are chemical softeners that get into your bloodstream through the skin. Not only can they damage the skin, they can also cause diabetes and are suspected of being hormonally effective - they can make you sterile! But this is almost "only" a side story of the bad alcohols.
Bad alcohols ...
- damage your skin barrier : as an irritant, it attacks the skin's own protective sebum layer . This not only promotes dry skin, but makes it a target for bacteria and inflammation such as pimples and acne.
- irritate the skin ! This is due to the degreasing and matting effect: the skin is immediately freed of fat, but the sebum glands want to add more. This is counterproductive and supports the formation of pimples and acne even more!
- promotes skin aging : young, healthy skin is closely related to good moisturizing. However, alcohol dries out the skin. This makes him a contract killer for your anti-aging program .
- support free radicals by contributing to their production. This damages the collagen structure of your skin and causes sagging, sagging skin.
- contribute to skin diseases : you have skin problems anyway? Then keep your fingers off bad alcohol all the more! Whether neurodermatitis, acne or other inflammatory reactions - alcohol fuels them.
What is "good", what is "bad" alcohol?
Here we also speak of fatty alcohols or wax alcohols. They are alcohols with long molecular chains. They are obtained from fatty acids that are contained in plants.
Unlike bad alcohols, the fatty or wax alcohols provide a nourishing effect: they make the skin soft and supple, and at the same time they have a moisturizing effect. In total, the "good" alcohols can alleviate skin irritation and also prevent it!
The good guys can be recognized by the INCI information by the following names: Behenyl Alcohol , Cetearyl Alcohol , Cetyl Alcohol , Lanolin Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol .
Somewhat strange: If fatty or wax alcohols are contained in cosmetics, they can be described as "non-alcoholic". How so? The message behind "alcohol-free" is: This product is good for your skin and contains no harmful alcohol. To simplify matters, the cosmetics industry can safely ignore that "good" alcohols are alcohols. It is not chemically correct, but it is helpful for us consumers.
This is denatured drinking alcohol. We keep our hands off this one when it comes to cosmetics - but in terms of beer, wine and schnapps, this alcohol is also not good for the skin !
We recognize bad alcohols as an ingredient under the names: alcohol denate. , Benzyl Alcohol , Ethyl Alcohol , Ethanol , Isopropyl Alcohol , Methanol and SD Alcohol.
Good cosmetics must be "sober" and do without (bad) alcohols
The following applies to our care products for men: alcohol comes in, but only the "good" one. We want to support men to do something good for their skin. Both in care and in cleaning. Our face cream , our cleanser and our aftershave as well as all other nourishing products are therefore "free of alcohol" (ie without bad, skin-damaging alcohols). As always, we only use caring, sustainable and effective ingredients!
Finally, say #staysober for a reason