Should You Be Scared of Alcohol in Your Skin Care?

Should You Be Scared of Alcohol in Your Skin Care?

No need to worry – we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about alcohol right here!

The first thing to know about alcohol in skin care products is that not all alcohols are the same. And not all alcohols are bad! The key is to know what types of alcohols there are and what they do.

When you think of alcohol what may come to mind are the alcohol-based solutions for hands, or isopropyl alcohol (the kind you use to sterilize things or for first aid). This kind of alcohol is definitely drying to the skin and can even be harmful. But other alcohols can be beneficial and should not be confused with these.


Simple alcohols are those used as solvents and as antibacterials, such as methanol, propanol, and ethanol. These can be drying and damaging, but if used in tiny amounts as a preservative, there is really nothing to worry about. And tiny amounts won’t dry your skin when it’s part of a moisturizing base either. You should be concerned when you see one of these alcohols at or near the top of the ingredient list.

Fatty alcohols have soothing, softening properties and can help the skin to keep its moisture. These include cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol and isostearyl alcohol.

Aromatic alcohols are used as fragrances in skincare products, such as benzyl alcohol or as part of essential oil compounds. These can cause dryness and irritated skin. Fragrance-free products are the best choice in avoiding contact with this type of alcohol.

Simple alcohols can clear away oil, which is great for oily or acne-prone skin, but it does strip away your skin’s natural moisturizing base, which leaves your skin exposed to pollution and bacteria.

Fatty alcohols are different. They are used in skin care products as thickening agents and as emollients. Fatty alcohols are non-irritating and can be quite beneficial for skin. Such as the Cetyl alcohol (a natural, fatty alcohol) we use in some of the products in our skin care line.

Cetyl alcohol is able to extract more phytochemicals (naturally occurring substances produced by plants) than other not-so-healthy chemicals used for extraction. This helps to penetrate the skin with the nutrient-rich ingredients it carries. And with a broader array of botanical phytochemicals present, the resulting product is not only chock-full of beneficial ingredients, it’s sumptuous and feels gorgeous! Cetyl alcohol is also a wonderfully effective skin hydrator.

At Bella Jade we create some of our products using fatty alcohols in combination with other natural ingredients to nourish, soothe, hydrate and make your skin feel delicious! Such as our Night Cream for Face and Eyes, Retinol Moisturizer, and Vitamin C Moisturizer.

For completely alcohol-free products, try our Makeup Setting Spray, and  Vitamin C Toner.

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