Hands up if you’ve ever bought a makeup product without looking at the ingredients label?
If we had to guess, we’d say almost everyone is reaching for the sky right now.
Because while many of us have become savvier when it comes to checking what’s in our skin care, makeup products often don’t undergo the same scrutiny.
And considering they probably spend equal amounts of time on our face, there’s no better time than the present to start paying attention; starting with alcohol.
Yep, alcohol is sometimes found in makeup products. Here’s how to know what to look for and what it means for your skin.
The effects alcohol can have on the skin
We love a glass of wine as much as the next person, and hey, the grape even has its benefits, but the alcohol that’s used in makeup is different.
It’s commonly known as ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and if your instincts are telling you that word sounds drying, you’re not wrong.
Most dermatologists consider alcohol an irritant that has a drying effect on the skin. Its use can interrupt the skin’s barrier function, which can lead to skin irritations and worsen existing acne conditions.
So why is it sometimes found in makeup?
It’s this same drying effect of alcohol that causes it to make its way into formulas; it’s used to reduce the tacky after feel of products, keep things lightweight on the skin and speed up the setting process – which is why makeup setting sprays often contain the ingredient.
How to tell if your makeup has alcohol in it
Luckily, the ingredient isn’t hidden by too many code words and a quick check of the back of your product will let you know whether it contains alcohol.
The types of alcohol that can irritate the skin are typically listed on labels as alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat/denatured alcohol and SD (specially denatured) alcohol.
These shouldn’t be confused with fatty alcohols, however, which can be found in creams and lotions and simply act as a stabiliser. These are listed as cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, arachidyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, and are known to be moisturising rather than drying.
Making the switch to alcohol-free
The good news is that avoiding the irritant-kind of alcohol is getting easier – even when it comes to the categories that find it hard to avoid, like makeup setting sprays.
Nude by Nature’s Natural Setting Spray is not only alcohol-free, but it’s made with 100 per cent natural ingredients. Its formula is still lightweight and will help to extend the wear of your makeup, but it provides moisturising benefits rather than drying ones.
It contains Australian Kakadu plum, which is known for its abundant vitamin C content, as well as quandong and wattleseed to nourish the skin and help fight visible signs of ageing.
And when it comes to post-mask wear (the sweat is all too real sometimes), it’s really great for refreshing and resetting makeup. A very welcome bonus.
Main image credit: Getty
Did you know alcohol was found in some makeup? Are there any ingredients you prefer to steer clear of?