The Meaning of "Alcohol-Free" | Clean Skincare | Basin
16th Apr 2021
The Meaning of "Alcohol-Free"What do we mean when we say Basin products are alcohol-free? First, it's important to differentiate between the "good" and the "bad" alcohols that are often found in skincare.
The Good. Fatty alcohols (or long-chain alcohols) are derived from natural oils and fats. They are typically used as emollients in skincare, meaning they give formulas extra moisturizing and protective properties. Look for cetyl, cetearyl, stearyl, or lauryl on your product labels. Basin products that contain some of these fatty alcohols include Conditioner Bars, Solid Moisturizers, and Face Scrubs. Fun fact! Fatty alcohols are biodegradable and are, therefore, gentle on the environment.
The Bad. Ethyl alcohols (or ethanols) are commonly used in cosmetics for their antimicrobial and astringent capabilities. You may find it hidden in many acne or oil fighting products, for example. When the skin is exposed to too much ethyl alcohol over time it can become dry and irritated. The skin's natural oil barrier can become weakened, making it difficult to protect itself from UV rays and environmental bacteria. It may have great short term effects like lightweight application and oil reduction, but the long term effects outweigh any benefit.
Both of these types of alcohols contain the same chemical compound (-OH), however, the rest of their chemical structure gives them completely different qualities. When we say our products are are "alcohol-free" we are referring to *ethyl alcohols.