Myth: Alcohol is good for the skin
With so many skin care products containing alcohol, we have the tendency to think that alcohol is good for the skin. The truth of the matter is, alcohol is nowhere near good for the skin. In fact, alcohol is actually harmful to our skin!
Why is alcohol used in skin care products?
There are 2 primary reasons why alcohol is used in skin care products. Firstly, it makes a thick skin care product feel weightless and this helps to aesthetically make the buyer feel more pleasant about the product.
The second reason is that it can actually help ingredients like retinol and Vitamin C penetrate into the skin more effectively. However, it does this at the expense of breaking down the skin barrier, the very barrier that keeps our skin healthy in the long term.
The bad effects of alcohol
Even though alcohol is used to break down the skin barrier for effective absorption of ingredients, by destroying the skin barrier, the skin will not be quite the same again. This is because it will no longer be as good at protecting the skin as it used to be.
Research has also demonstrated that alcohol-based anti-acne products increase both irritation and dryness, and this makes it harder for those battling acne to stick to their routine. Not surprisingly, it was also noted that anti-acne products that contain milder alternatives to alcohol were better for skin. The irony of using alcohol-based treatments is that the damage they cause leads to an increase of acne-causing bacteria, and makes inflammation worse, causing the red marks to stay around for much longer than they would otherwise.
Alcohol also stimulates oil production at the base of the pore. For those with oily skin using products containing alcohol, the immediate de-greasing effect will eventually be counteracted by oily skin producing even more oil!
Is alcohol good for our skin?
All in all, even though alcohol is used in many skin care products, it doesn't necessary mean it is good for our skin. Alcohol actually harms our skin's protective barrier, triggers free-radical damage, makes oily skin and redness worse.