The Best Alcohol-Free Skincare for Every Skin Type

Shun dryness and irritation with alcohol-free skincare.

Although we certainly approve of a glass of white on a sunny Saturday afternoon, we aren't necessarily fans of pouring the stuff onto our skin.

But in saying that, Alcohol is a common addition to beauty products as it helps products go on smoother and absorb more easily.

Known for its mattifying properties, Alcohol is also a favourite ingredient found in anti-acne and oily skincare products.

On the other hand, Alcohol can have some adverse effects on our skin. Mainly, it can dry out your skin over time. It’s also quite a no-go zone if you have sensitive skin, as Alcohol can cause irritation and discomfort.

Whether you’re after a nourishing moisturiser for your dry skin, a Alcohol-free skin cleanser for your sensitive complexion, or if you just want to change up your skincare routine, we’ve got all the best picks for you!

Keep scrolling to discover all the best alcohol-free skincare products for every skin type.

Not sure what your skin type is? Watch the video below as Amy explains how to work out your skin type (and why it's important to know)

Why Is Alcohol-Free Skincare Good for You?

There are some pretty good reasons why Alcohol is included in skincare products, which is why we find it so commonly. Alcohol is a great preservative that makes many of our products last longer and stay stable.

Alcohol is also great at making skincare products feel lighter and absorb easily, as well as layer well with other skincare ingredients. However, with these great pro’s, there are definitely some con’s...

As we’ve mentioned, Alcohol can cause dryness and discomfort, so it’s an ingredient to avoid if you already have dry skin or if you’re building up your anti-ageing skincare routine. Alcohol can also irritate sensitive skin, so you’ll probably see a massive improvement when you start ditching this one.

When it comes to oily and acne-prone skin, contrary to popular belief, Alcohol may appear to help in the short-term, but it actually makes enlarged pores look even worse and can increase oiliness and shininess too. 

Ultimately, cutting Alcohol out of your skin care diet and have some massive benefits, as Alcohol-free skincare tends to be more gentle and nourishing on all skin types.

Pai Skincare Range - Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask - 1080 x 771Pai Skincare Range - Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask - 1080 x 771

What Ingredients Should I Avoid?

Alcohol comes in a few different forms. When you’re browsing through ingredients lists, look out for the following common culprits.

Alcohol: Straight-up Alcohol. High concentrations of this ingredient can not only increase dryness and stimulate oil production, it also works to the detriment of your skin’s natural barrier over time. 

Methanol: Methanol is another one that we see a lot, especially in bath and body products. While it might feel good on application, working to dissolve surface oils, it can cause dryness and irritation in the long run, so it’s best to avoid it.

Glycol: Glycol is included in a lot of moisturisers, as it retains and attracts water, and allows other products to absorb easier. However, this ingredient can be incredibly irritating. If you have sensitive skin, it’s time to start shopping for propylene glycol free products.

Phenoxyethanol: From face moisturisers and body lotions to hair conditioner and toothpaste, Phenoxyethanol is everywhere! Used as a stabiliser and for its antibacterial properties, there are benefits to using this ingredient. However, Phenoxyethanol can potentially have a cumulative effect on our nervous system, and can be majorly irritating to our skin and eyes.

Oxybenzone: Although not an Alcohol, Oxybenzone is one to avoid if you have sensitive skin. It’s a chemical UV filter that’s found in a lot of modern sunscreens, especially with the growing popularity of chemical sunscreens. Oxybenzone is a highly irritating allergen, so, if you have sensitive skin, it’s particularly important to ditch this one.

Artificial fragrances: Our Alcohol-free skincare products are also free of other harsh ingredients, including Oxybenzone (mentioned above) and artificial fragrances. Artificial fragrances are one of the main irritants of sensitive skin. Research even suggests that artificial fragrances might be carcinogenic, so it’s best to stay away from these.

The Best Alcohol Free Skin Care Products for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, finding the right products can be a search and a struggle. When everything seems to trigger your skin, you can become hyper-aware of ingredients, and a real skin minimalist. Fortunately, with so many new, clean brands catering to your needs, you don't have to compromise on formulas. You won’t be missing out on anything with these products, which are not only gentle, but also highly effective and nourishing. Below we have listed our favourite Alcohol-free cleanser, toner and moisturiser, if this is an ingredient you know irritates you. 

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, going alcohol-free is certainly the way to go. This tactic will let you avoid all the nasty chemicals that can cause reactions and break down your skin’s natural defences. This double cleansing duo from Pai contains their Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil to melt away all makeup, grease and impurities, plus their Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. This is a nourishing cream cleanser that takes away the day without ever stripping your skin.

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can begin to feel tight and uncomfortable throughout the day. If you often need a top-up of hydration, try Vanessa Megan Group 11 Active Mist. This toning mist helps brighten and nourish your skin, eliminating any dullness and imparting a gorgeous healthy glow.

With the right moisturiser, you can lock in hydration and help calm your complexion during a flare-up. With the wrong moisturiser packed full of harsh chemicals, you can make things so much worse! Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream is solidly in the former category, helping to rebalance your skin and soothe irritation.

The Best Alcohol Free Skin Care Products for Dry Skin

As we know, Alcohol has a particularly drying effect. So, if you already have dry skin this is an easy one to pass on. Below we have put together a list of our favourite Alcohol-free products for dry skin that include a range of nourishing oils and hydrating ingredients that will boost your skin’s moisture levels. End the cycle of prolonged dryness and maintain skin that is hydrated and smooth.

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Dry Skin

Traditional face washes can remove much-needed moisture from your skin, which is an absolute disaster if you already have dry skin. La Mav Marula Face Cleansing Oil has been expertly created with dry and very dry skin in mind. Now it’s easy to remove makeup and impurities while maintaining optimal hydration levels.

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Dry Skin

Rose water is a must for dry skin, as it provides instant hydration and soothes discomfort. Vanessa Megan Rose Hydrosol Pore Refining Toner uses pure organic rosewater to immediately alleviate dryness and tightness of the skin. This mist is perfect for top-ups throughout the day and works on oily skin too!

Alcohol will dry out your skin, so if you have dry skin already, you’ll want to avoid alcohol-based products for sure. Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream is a nourishing face moisturiser designed to nourish even the driest of skin. This face cream is free of alcohol and other chemical nasties, so it easily comforts your skin as it hydrates.

The Best Alcohol Free Skin Care Products for Oily Skin

Alcohol is one ingredient that can really stimulate oil production by stripping the skin, causing the skin to go into over production. For everyone who gets extra shiny, we have selected for you our favourite Alcohol-free skin care products for oily skin. These lightweight products won’t leave you feeling oily or greasy, and will work to soothe and calm any breakouts and irritation.

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Oily Skin

Alcohol is one of the worst ingredients for oily skin, in contrast to what we often hear! While at first alcohols can appear to mattify the skin, they’ll actually send your oil production into overdrive, and you’ll end up even shinier than you were before. Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser has a much better balancing formula to restore calm to your complexion and leave it feeling refreshed and soft.

The Best Alcohol Free Face Wash for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, an alcohol-free toner can normalise your complexion and control sebum levels and shine. Pai Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Tonic calms and balances the skin without ever feeling greasy or heavy. Full of antibacterial agents, it's also the best alcohol free toner for acne-prone skin, as it helps prevent and minimise breakouts.

If you’re after a lightweight moisturiser for your oily or combination skin, we couldn’t recommend Vanessa Megan Beauty Vitamin A+B+C Daily Face Cream any more highly! Bursting with skin-loving vitamins, this moisturiser does more than just hydrate skin. It also helps repair, protect, and brighten your complexion without ever feeling heavy or greasy.

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Looking to find more alcohol free skin care, makeup more? Discover your new favourites in our Clean Beauty guides:

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

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