Uses of Organic Alcohol in the Cosmetics Industry 

Uses of Organic Alcohol in the Cosmetics Industry 

Alcohol has many uses, such as being the basis of alcoholic beverages, which is how it is best known. It comes in different forms, and these are the result of the raw materials included and the processes followed. Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is commonly used in pharmaceuticals, anaesthetic ether, toiletries, sterilising medical instruments, fuels, and alcoholic drinks. The main uses of ethanol are to produce formaldehyde, in antifreeze, for cleaning metals, and as a solvent.

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There are positive and negative aspects to the use of alcohol in cosmetics and skin care products. We examine the four types of alcohol used in the beauty industry. These are Aromatic Preservative Alcohol, Denatured Alcohol, Grain/Organic, Alcohol, and Fatty Alcohol.

Aromatic Preservative Alcohols

The main function of aromatic alcohol is to serve as a preservative. These are used as synthetic benzyl alcohol and phenethyl alcohol. 

Even though minuscule amounts of these alcohols are found in cosmetics, they can have a middle to high toxicity. They are obtained from unprocessed plants and tend to be included by manufacturers as non-certified substances.

When a product is labeled organic, although more expensive, it is safer for your skin.

Organic Alcohol

When organic alcohol is used in a product, it can be identified from the label as whey alcohol, organic ethyl alcohol such as organic sugar cane, and organic grain made from grain, corn, grape, wheat, or cane sugar.

The raw ingredients that go into organic alcohol are grown organically. They are used in hand sanitisers and skin care products. These items are costlier. Products containing organic alcohol can penetrate the skin to allow the ingredients to be absorbed.

The reasons for using organic alcohol in cosmetics are penetration, preservation, astringents, solvents, and fast drying.

Denatured Rubbing Alcohol

Denatured rubbing alcohol is the most frequently used alcohol in cosmetics and skin care lines. 
It usually contains petroleum extracts and is a cheaper form of alcohol. 

It is advisable not to purchase products that contain methanol, SD alcohol, isopropyl, or ethanol. Many products marketed for acne, such as astringents and toners, have excess amounts of these alcohols. These items remove oils and bacteria on the skin’s surface but, over time, they can damage the body’s ability to provide moisture and protect itself from new bacteria, allergens, and viruses. 

These alcohols dehydrate the skin, leading to contact dermatitis, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Fatty Alcohols

Fatty alcohols come from palm oil, coconut oil, and nuts. As long as they are not mixed with petroleum-based additives, they are good for the skin. Despite the benefits of natural ingredients, most cosmetics and skin care are not pure and have been coupled with harmful substances. Fatty alcohols are used as emulsifiers so that the water and oil elements do not separate. Another function is that of emollient to seal in moisture and hydrate the skin. Fatty alcohols are included in many detergents, shampoos, and body washes to make them foam more.

Choose your cosmetic and skin care products carefully to avoid the problems associated with some forms of alcohol.


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