When I started YASOU skin care I wondered why is there alcohol in skin care products? I believe we need to understand why alcohol is used in skin care before we can begin discussing the difference between good and bad types of alcohol.
The use of alcohol in skin care products may be that it is used as a solvent (dissolves something or thins out a mixture), emulsifier allows two different substances to blend together), antiseptic (kills bacteria), buffer (balances the pH), stabilizer (prevents separation or unwanted reactions), preservative (minimizes bacterial growth or spoilage), penetration enhancer (improves delivery of an ingredient into skin), or fragrance fixative.
So as you can see alcohol in itself is a versatile ingredient that can perform a range of functions! Today I want to concentrate on the “good” alcohols. I have included a chart below with our list of “good and “bad” alcohols for you to use as a beginning guide to help you become aware of certain alcohols when reading your skin care labels. The “bad alcohols” for skin care are on this list because they produce dryness, erosion of the surface of the skin (which is really bad for skin), and a strain how the skin replenishes renews and rejuvenates itself. These alcohols just weaken the skin and can be considered volatile.
The good alcohols are the fatty alcohols, also called wax alcohols. These fatty alcohols are a wax substance which are usually derived from nuts, coconut, and Palm oil (we don’t recommend using products with palm oil due to the sourcing tactics of this ingredient) making them rich in healthy fats that can feed and nourish the skin in combination with other plant based oils.
Fatty alcohols also tend to be 100% non-irritating (please note this doesn’t mean that people with skin sensitivities won’t have allergic reactions to them because everyone has different skin). The function of fatty alcohols is to act as emulsifiers to help bind the oil and water components of a lotion or cream and keep it from separating. They can thicken a formula making it creamy, thick, luscious and rich. The fatty acid content acts as an emollient, assisting with hydration and forming a protective barrier to the skin once a product is applied.
YASOU skin care only uses fatty alcohols that are nut or fruit derived (vegetable). We have constructed an alcohol informational graphic listing the ingredients to look for in both “good” and/or “bad” alcohols. These fatty alcohols can be plant or animal, thus this infographic has been created as a general guide for you. Should you be seeking vegan fatty alcohols, check with the product’s manufacturer to find out if the wax is plant or animal based, gluten free and natural. I hope you find this informational graphic helpful. If you are interested in learning more about any ingredients, or if you would like us to address certain skin care topics, please feel free to drop us an email at Terry@yasouskincare.com and let us know what you would like us to cover it.