With all the contradictory information on the internet, it is easy to see why some people believe that alcohol-free skin care is just a passing craze.
With its ability to evaporate on contact with the skin, those with oily complexions may enjoy the sensation of using skin care that contains alcohol.
However all skin types should exercise caution when using beauty products and toiletries that contain alcohol, as it can cause oily skin to become oilier and dry skin to become drier.
When Green People refers to its products as ‘alcohol-free’, it means they do not contain harmful alcohols such as ethanol/ethyl alcohol and alcohol denat.
Shop for alcohol-free beauty products with these quick links:
Alcohol-free face wash
Alcohol-free body lotion
Alcohol-free hand cream
Are all alcohols bad for your skin?
To most people the word 'alcohol' means ethanol, i.e. the colourless, volatile liquid that is found in alcoholic beverages; but in chemistry terms, the word 'alcohol' is used to describe any compound which contains an Oxygen/Hydrogen pairing (-OH group) at one end of its molecule.
Such compounds are very common in nature, and their names often end in the letters 'ol'. Examples of such alcohols include tocopherol (Vitamin E) and retinol (Vitamin A). These alcohols are often thick oils or solid fats, and many are essential for human health.
Another group of alcohols found in nature are the fatty alcohols, which are derived from saturated vegetable fats such as coconut oil. These have the appearance of solid white fatty waxes and are beneficial to both skin and hair, containing fatty acids that are highly compatible with human cell physiology.
Examples include Cetyl alcohol and Cetearyl alcohol, the latter of which can be found in Green People’s hair conditioners for its nourishing and emollient properties.
Green People’s alcohol-free beauty products
As the above examples illustrate, many different compounds make up the group known as 'alcohols', and different alcohols possess widely differing properties. Some alcohols can have potentially harmful effects (i.e. ethanol, alcohol denat) and must be used with caution in personal care products, whereas others (i.e. Cetearyl alcohol) are beneficial for the skin and are used as very effective nourishing and conditioning agents.
However, when alcohols like ethanol are used in toiletries they can have a drying effect, and also acts as a solvent, enabling otherwise inactive substances to cross the skin/blood barrier and enter the body. For these two reasons Green People avoids the use of ethanol in personal care products.
Some mainstream moisturisers contain alcohol to give them a light skin feel, making it appear that the face cream absorbs quickly into the skin. However this sensation occurs when the alcohol in the moisturiser evaporates on contact with the skin.
When the alcohol evaporates it also strips some of your skin’s natural moisture, exactly the opposite of what a ‘moisturiser’ is supposed to do! This can cause skin to become even drier, creating a vicious circle.
If you have oily skin a little extra dryness may not seem so bad; but by stripping your skin of its natural oils, moisturisers containing alcohol can cause oily skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil, which may lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Green People’s certified organic, alcohol-free moisturisers are formulated to restore the skin’s natural, healthy balance. They never contain harsh chemicals and are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and those prone to eczema.
Alcohol may be used in sunscreens to give them a lighter skin feel.
Some brands of sunscreen even have alcohol listed in the top two or three ingredients, meaning that they contain very high percentages of this potentially harmful chemical.
Having such high levels of alcohol in a sun lotion may cause dryness and irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin or those prone to prickly heat.
Green People’s alcohol-free sunscreens are ultra-gentle and ultra-effective. With broad-spectrum UVA and UVB defence, Green People’s organic sun lotions protect the whole family all year round.
An extract from the mountain flower Edelweiss is used for its powerfully protective and antioxidant properties. Flourishing at high altitudes in the Swiss Alps, Edelweiss has evolved to withstand intense UV radiation and passes this incredible ability onto Green People’s natural sun lotions.
Alcohol-free face wash
Much like moisturisers, face washes containing alcohol can be stripping for the skin. If you ever experience an uncomfortable ‘tight’ feeling after washing your face, chances are your face wash may contain ethanol which could be drying out your skin.
When used in high concentrations, alcohol can interfere with your skin’s protective acid mantle, a very thin and slightly acidic layer that is essential for keeping skin balanced and healthy.
Green People’s alcohol-free cleansers are highly effective at removing impurities, but they won’t strip your skin of its natural, healthy oils. For very sensitive skin, try our Scent Free Cleanser or for oily or acne-prone skin, try the Foaming Face Wash, which contains balancing, spot-fighting actives including Witch Hazel and Willow Bark to keep blemishes at bay, naturally.
Over the past few years women have fallen out of love with toners as they often contain a high percentage of drying alcohol. Serums are the new toners, delivering a burst of hydration to the skin and aiding the efficacy of other skin care products.
Our ultra-gentle, alcohol-free serums plump the skin with anti-ageing actives whilst being very gentle for sensitive skin.
Do you have a question about alcohol-free beauty products? Contact us on social @GreenPeopleUK or call our friendly customer care team on 01403 740350.