Alcohol is a good ingredient because it helps other ingredients like retinol and vitamin C to absorb into the skin more effectively. On the other hand, alcohol can also destroy the skin’s surface and the substances that keep the skin healthy. Alcohol-based skin care and make-up products that have alcohol as a main ingredient is a big problem.
To avoid being misunderstood, we are talking about drying types of alcohol that most often are listed on an ingredient label as SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol. These types of 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, these are short term benefits, as they will aggravate and be cruel to the skin and cause negative long term consequences, such as: dryness, erosion of the surface of skin, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Shortly, alcohol weakens everything about the skin.
However, there are other types of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Ingredient labels such as: cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol are good ingredients for dry skin, and fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. They are skin-friendly forms of alcohol and different from the problematic types of alcohol.
The contra effect of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in breakouts, enlarged pores and skin inflammations, because the alcohol can harm the skin’s protective surface and decrease vital substances needed for healthy skin. Alcohol can make the oily skin even worse and actually increase the oiliness and make it look even more shiny.
The bottom line, there are many other ways to get good ingredients into the skin, without damaging it!