Although we certainly approve of a glass of white on a sunny Saturday afternoon, we aren't fans of pouring the stuff onto our skin. Alcohol is a common addition to beauty products because 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. Unfortunately, Alcohol can have some adverse effects. Mainly, it can dry out your skin over time. It’s also a complete no-go if you have sensitive skin, as Alcohol can cause irritation and discomfort.
If you want to change up your skincare routine, we recommend choosing Alcohol-free skincare products. Whether you’re after a nourishing moisturiser for your dry skin, or an Alcohol-free skin cleanser for your sensitive complexion, we’ve got all the best picks for you!
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.
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.