I’ve always found alcohol to be way too drying for my skin, even when I was younger and had oily skin. Now that I have dry skin, I never use it. Yet it is present in so many skincare products, including organic ones.
It’s true that alcohol in skincare has benefits. It can give denser creams a lighter feel, and it can help some ingredients to penetrate more deeply, and it can give temporary relief to too much oiliness. But the main reason it it is used in organic skincare products is because it is one of the only effective preservatives allowed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s organic standard.
GOOD FOR SHELF LIFE, NOT YOUR COMPLEXION
The trouble is, while alcohol is good for the shelf life of products, it is way too harsh for dry skin. It’s one of the reasons why people think organic skincare is not as effective as conventional, chemically-laden skincare – the alcohol in it degrades the benefits that are otherwise available from organic ingredients. It also strips away the skin’s protective barrier – that’s actually how it helps some ingredients to penetrate deeper – causing skin to become more prone to dryness and signs of aging. And as skin becomes more sensitive, it becomes less and less able to withstand the effects of alcohol, resulting in irritation and even rawness.
TEMPTING FOR ACNE SUFFERERS, BUT SELF-DEFEATING
Some people with oily skin are prone to acne and use alcohol-based toners to strip the excess oil from their skin. Unfortunately, when you strip oil from your skin like this, your body often responds by increasing its oil production, causing you to use more and more harsh chemicals to deal with it, setting up a bigger problem than you started with..
There are other problems with alcohol on the skin. It can reduce resistance to free radical damage – the very opposite of anti-aging, and another reason why organic skincare is often less effective than it should be.
FINDING ORGANIC PRODUCTS WITHOUT ALCOHOL
When alcohol is used as a preservative in an organic product, it generally takes up about 14% of the volume of the product – it’s not just a few drops! So it really pays to look at the ingredient lists of products you are using on your skin. The alcohols to avoid may be listed as “organic alcohol” or as ethanol, denatured, isopropyl, methanol or ethyl alcohol.
ECOCERT ENABLES ALCOHOL-FREE ORGANIC SKINCARE
It is unfortunate that the U.S. organic standard pushes so many manufacturers to use alcohol as a preservative. Just because it is organic alcohol does not make it any better for your skin. That’s why we decided to have Gaelle Organic’s products be certified by Ecocert, Europe’s leading organic certifier. Ecocert’s organic cosmetics standard supports the formulation and manufacture of organic skincare without the use of alcohol.
There is no need to use harsh chemicals such as alcohol on your skin. Once you give your skin a complete break from them and use pure organic products instead, you will be amazed by how quickly and fully your skin rejuvenates itself.
Click to see Gaelle Organic’s alcohol-free skincare line