Moisturizer Should Not Contain Alcohol!


Many new moisturizers have been launched recently and some are specially created for Asian market that are suitable to be worn under hot and humid weather here. Well these moisturizers have common benefits – to hydrate the skin while providing an oil- and shine-free result. But unfortunately, in order to provide a long-lasting shine-free matte finish, some cosmetics companies have actually formulated these moisturizers with a harmful drying ingredient that can be bad for the skin.

Not to be surprise, many moisturizers contain similar ingredients. The first few ingredients on the ingredient list are somewhat identical for most brands. Water/Aqua is almost always appeared as the first ingredient and Glycerin as the second ingredient.

Lately I was actually disappointed to find out that a handful of “non-oily” moisturizers have contain a particular harmful and drying ingredient. What makes it worse is that it is often found to be listed among the top five ingredients on the list. It goes to say the amount used can be plentiful. The higher it appears on the list, the higher the amount will be. This is one of the worst ingredients I personally hate and avoid at all cost.

It is nevertheless the ALCOHOL!

What puzzled me is that why must these cosmetics companies include this harmful ingredient in their product formulation. They knew very well that alcohol is capable of drying up the skin in a long run, cause irritation for some people and generate free-radical damages too. Why why why!?

I believe these companies must be thinking in order to create a long-lasting oil- and shine-free result, alcohol is the best candidate! They probably do not bother the damage it will cause to the consumers’ skin, all they care is to provide the non-shiny result the consumers want and make them happy.


Not all alcohols are bad!

Before you jump to the conclusion, not all alcohols are harmful. There are many types of alcohols use in the cosmetics industry.

When a product says ‘Alcohol-Free’, it is generally means it does not contain ‘Bad’ alcohol such as denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or sd alcohol. These alcohols are akin to grain alcohol which is very drying and irritating for skin. <source : Don’t go to cosmetics counter without me>

However, many cosmetics may contain other ‘alcohol’ compounds, also known as fatty alcohols, which are fatty acids that have been exposed to hydrogen. They have a slightly waxy feel as a raw ingredient. They are used as emollients in moisturizers. Fatty alcohols are frequently used to improve the viscosity of lotions and creams. Viscosity is the thickness and liquidity of a solution. There are many types of fatty alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol, lauryl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol and oleyl alcohol. <source : Skincare beyond the basics>


Say NO to Alcohol!

Here are a couple of moisturizers I found that contain harmful alcohol - Biotherm Hydra-Det02x Detoxifying Moisturizing Fluid, Estee Lauder Hydramax+Active Active Moisture Gel Cream, Vichy Bi-White Double Corrective Whitening Night Cream, Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Melt and Cream-Gel, and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream.

It is important to note that any skin care products that are meant to provide moisture or boost hydration in the skin (regardless if it’s a moisturizer, toner, serum or mask) should not contain harmful alcohol at all! I have recently came across a hydrating gel mask, Mary Kay TimeWise Moisture Renewing Gel Mask which I have reviewed many weeks ago actually contains harmful denatured alcohol. It is very disappointing!


Shopping Tip

So next time when you intend to purchase a moisturizer or a hydrating product, do have a quick look on the ingredient list and see if you can find any of the ‘bad’ alcohols in it. You can be a smart shopper too!

Have you came across any product that contains alcohol too? Do share with the rest of the readers too!


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5 Comments on "Moisturizer Should Not Contain Alcohol!"

  1. MsGlitzy says:

    Thanks for this post – very informative! Which alcohol-free moisturizer would you recommend for oily skin?

  2. Coraline says:

    I bought the Shiseido Revital Whitening Serum AA EX and been using it for a while now. The ingredients started as: Water.Alcohol.Glycerin.Peg-8.Dimethicone…
    I have no idea if this “Alcohol” here which is listed before Glycerin is good or bad.
    In my opinion, most of the whitening products contain alcohol to some extent.

  3. Shirleen says:

    Hi Glitzy,

    Thanks! :-) I guess I will recommend the Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. Well formulated product and the texture is pretty lightweight. ;-)

  4. Shirleen says:

    Hi Coraline,

    Unfortunately the “Alcohol” on this Shiseido Whitening Serum can be harmful and drying for your skin. Alcohol is often used to help increase penetration of the other ingredients into the skin.

  5. Priscilla says:

    I always wondered why all moisturizers contain Cetearyl Alcohol. I wish I can find one that doesn’t contain any!

    Still searching…

    Helpful post.

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