Alcohols in natural organic cosmetic products: which ones to avoid at all costs?

Alcohols in natural organic cosmetic products: which ones to avoid at all costs?

Between allergies, irritations or simply respect for the skin and the planet, we are paying more and more attention to what we find in our natural organic cosmetics . And that's a very good thing!

But as the owner of a beauty salon or spa, it can sometimes make daily life more complex. Especially when it comes to the choice of natural cosmetic products .

How to choose face and body creams , scrubs or moisturizing butters if you do not fully understand the nature of their composition ?

Some terms are very technical, even scientific. And when looking for natural and organic products , it is not always easy to differentiate between harmful substances and components required for the sale of the products.

Among these components which are half fig, half grape, we find in particular alcohols .

Is the presence of alcohol a good thing in cosmetics ?

What is the difference between behenyl, lanolin, cearyl and all these alcohols whose names we don't always know?

As the composition of beauty products is a crucial point in choosing cosmetics for your institute, Green Spa guides you in understanding! Let's take a look at alcohol in natural organic cosmetics.

Essential, or components to avoid?

We tell you everything!

Alcohol in natural organic cosmetic products

Alcohol, in the same way as solvents and preservatives, is one of the components that is very often found in natural cosmetics. Or even all the time.

In fact, it is quite rare to find cosmetics without alcohol. These are specialized ranges or targeted brand creations , which find alternatives to alcohol.

These alternatives allow people who have allergies or sensitive skin to have creams adapted to their problem . These alcohol-free cosmetics are often found in facial product ranges. And for good reason: facial skin is often thinner, and therefore more sensitive, than body skin.

In any case, it is essential to question the reason for the presence of alcohol in cosmetics : why is it found everywhere? What is the use of alcohol in the cosmetic world?

Why is alcohol found in organic cosmetics?

Concretely, alcohol is a product that can be natural . It is a component that is obtained following the fermentation of biomass that contains sugar or starch.

Alcohol is therefore not necessarily synonymous with “ ultra dangerous chemical product for the skin” .

But industrial or not, the reasons why alcohol is found in cosmetics are numerous. First of all because alcohol has a bactericidal effect , which allows it to eliminate a large part of the bacteria that can develop in natural cosmetic products.

It is an ingredient that can serve as a preservative and can help protect the aesthetic product from contamination by any bacteria .

In addition, alcohol has a deodorizing and anti-inflammatory effect which can be very useful in body cosmetics . It is a product that has benefits for the skin, and which may not only have bad sides.

From a “texture” point of view, alcohol is often found in cosmetics because it dissolves grease. It can be used as a solvent to extract the active ingredients from plants or plant elements.

In addition to its possible negative effects, alcohol can therefore offer many benefits, when used correctly. In all cases, everything obviously depends on the nature of the alcohol that is chosen, and the way in which it is mixed with the rest of the natural organic cosmetic product.

Is alcohol dangerous for the skin?

Cosmetic alcohol follows somewhat the same principle as all products applied to the skin : in reasonable quantities, it can have benefits. But used too much, it can also have harmful effects.

For example, ethanol , when applied to the skin in large quantities, can leave skin dry and cracked. But mixed with the right solvents or with water, its negative effects diminish, leaving only the positive properties.

It is through the misuse of products like ethanol that we fall into the vicious circle of creams that are bad for the skin:

  • You have dry skin
  • You apply a cream containing ethanol
  • Too much will cause your skin to dry out.
  • You add more cream
  • Which dries your skin even more
  • Etc…

It is for this reason that we recommend that beauty institutes and spas not choose cosmetic products that contain too much ethanol.

A little yes.

Too much, no way!

So concretely: no, alcohol is not dangerous for the skin.

But it all depends on the concentration of alcohol found in the cosmetic product, and how often you use it.

At less than 5% concentration in a product, alcohol does not pose a problem. It then serves as a natural preservative, and evaporates immediately when the cream is applied.

And it plays this role to perfection, much better than the countless parabens found in supermarket cosmetics.

What are the “good” alcohols and the “bad” alcohols in cosmetics?

In addition to the amount and frequency of alcohol applied to the skin, there is another factor that determines whether the cosmetic product may be harmful or not.

This concerns the nature of the alcohol contained in natural cosmetics.

Indeed, certain alcohols can have very powerful negative sides for the skin of the face or for the skin of the body . While others, more natural, have positive effects on the preservation of cosmetics .

We come back to ethanol, which is far from being the best alcohol. Particularly when it is found mixed with plasticizers , which gives a denatured alcohol and possibly bad for your health. If the composition label of a cream reveals the presence of ethanol in too large a quantity and mixed with phthalates , avoid this cosmetic.

However, there are also good alcohols , which are closely followed by alcohol waxes . These are alcohols that come from plants . However, these plants contain fatty acids: these are therefore found in alcohol, then in cosmetics .

These are natural alcohols, which are made from renewable raw materials. Non-toxic, non-ionic, they are particularly respectful of the skin . And even the planet, since they are biodegradable alcohols!

As a logical consequence, these alcohol waxes and natural alcohols are moisturizing for the skin. They derive their benefits from plants , which helps to drastically reduce the irritation caused by too much alcohol application. These alcohols are Behenyl, Cetearyl, Cetyl, Lanolin, or even Benzyl.

Benzyl in particular is used as a preservative. It is an alcohol naturally present in cosmetics , because it is found in propolis , in plant extracts or in essential oils.

The place of alcohol in natural organic cosmetic products

In the cosmetic world , alcohol is not necessarily synonymous with irritation, dryness and an industrial product that ravages the skin. It can also be a natural component of the organic product, which is naturally found in the composition. All that matters is that alcohols, of any kind, are not present in too large quantities in cosmetic products . If you notice a slight presence of alcohol, be aware that it is an excellent preservative, to prevent the products from turning. In any case, do not hesitate to ask your cosmetic product supplier for information if you have any questions! And beyond the presence of alcohol, take the time to check the other elements in the composition of organic cosmetics: