October 12, 2012

A Word About Alcohols in Skin Care

by Natalie Katsman

If you read labels on cosmetic products, often you will find an ingredient or two with the word "alcohol" in their names.

Are they safe to use? Many of them are - and for any skin type.

The word "alcohol" refers to the chemical structure of a substance, not its properties. Indeed, some alcohols dry and irritate skin due to their solvent and astringent qualities. These alcohols are used mainly in aftershaves and skin tonics.

Alcohols used in creams and lotions are fatty alcohols. They are produced from natural fats and oils, however there are synthetic fatty alcohols that are structurally identical to the natural ones. Fatty alcohols are emulsifiers, they also make skin smoother and prevent moisture loss.

Examples of fatty alcohols are:
Cetyl Alcohol
Decyl Alcohol
Lauryl alcohol
Stearyl Alcohol
Jojoba Alcohol
Palm Kernel Alcohol
(C) Natalie Katsman, 2003.

Natalie Katsman is a co-founder of http://www.natural-aid.com(now defunct), where you can find fine quality aloe vera products for beauty and well-being and subscribe to HealthySkin Newsletter filled with beauty tips, recipes and information on herbal healing, skin care and cosmetic chemistry.