Are Alcohols Bad For Your Skin?

Short answer: No. Long Answer: It depends. Let’s talk about it. It’s been pretty common knowledge in the skincare community that alcohol is bad for your skin. It dries it out, it damages it, all around not what we want. Yet now, some people are saying something about “fatty alcohols” and how they aren’t bad for your skin. By some people, I mean Paula’s Choice and me. (Although I’m sure there are many more people who know and talk about this of course).

Good Alcohols

Good Alcohols are also known as “fatty alcohols.” These are things like cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. These chemicals are not used to dry out your skin and kill bacteria like “bad” bacteria. In fact, these alcohols are more hydrating, thickening your products. If you see these two alcohols, breathe a sigh of relief because they are in the clear.

Bad Alcohols

Bad alcohols are still pretty popular because of their oil drying ability. However alchohols like denatured alchohol actually increase bad bacteria, causing inflammation, leaving hyperpigmentation that should have faded away, and increase acne by stimuting the pore and creating more oil. Just a little bit of non-fatty alcohols everyday will completely destroy your skin, reducing cell production and killing them.


This post was pretty short and straightforward, but it was more of a PSA than anything. Just avoid alcohols that are not cetyl and stearyl alchohol. Thanks.

Thanks for reading this super super short post! I hope it was helpful, and if you want to see more like it, please leave a like and comment what else you want to see. Also, join the email list to be notified whenever I post! 😀

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