The Sobering Truth Behind Alcohol-based Beauty

The Sobering Truth Behind Alcohol-based Beauty | Brûmée – Alcohol-Free Fine Fragrances

We reveal the impact of alcoholic ingredients in your beauty regime.

Many of us might enjoy a tipple or two despite knowing it sometimes wreaks havoc with our skin. So imagine what it actually does to our skin when we use skincare products that contain alcohol, such as deodorant and perfume.

What is denatured alcohol?

Before you run to check the labels, it’s not gin or vodka you’re looking for. The types of alcohol found in beauty items can include ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat, often found in skincare creams, and the most commonly used one in fragrances is the later. Now you wonder, is alcohol denat bad for skin? Well, they literally strip and weaken your skin and despite common misconception that they help mattify oily complexions, they in fact often make it worse. However, to confuse matters, there are also fatty alcohols found in your beauty essentials, which are actually completely safe in small amounts and can be beneficial for the skin. These include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol, which help keep the product stable and lock in moisture.  

Many deodorants also include alcohol, which can cause blocked pores, irritation, dryness and skin discoloration under the arm. Alcohol and aluminium-free deodorants are now becoming increasingly commonplace as research proves the negative impact they have on our wellbeing. As a result of this knowledge, the beauty industry is cleaning up its act, with safer and greener deodorants and skincare choices entering on the market. And now it seems that perfume is set to (finally) follow suit.

Alcohol in Perfume

As the green beauty trend continues to flourish, fine fragrance is casually wafting in fashionably late but with its usual finesse. While the array of transparent bottles in a myriad of shapes fill the shelves and decorate people’s boudoirs, the transparency of their ingredients is anything but. Educated consumers are no longer lured in by the mystique of their signature scent, but instead want clarity as to what is actually in them. We want to trust our favourite brands, make informed choices and know we are safe while enjoying their scent. 

Take a closer look at the list of ingredients of your favourite perfume and you’ll soon realise that a key ingredient is alcohol - and not the good kind. Many contain up to as much as 80% denatured alcohol - denatured alcohol is ethanol (ethyl alcohol) made unfit for human consumption by adding one or more chemicals (denaturants) to it. Now you may wonder; is alcohol denat bad for skin? Spritzing this can potentially cause drying and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin types and when used regularly on the same area. Just as with deodorants, it can also lead to discolouration, which can worsen when exposed to the sun.

At Brûmée our mission is to create clean perfume for skin conscious people. If after reading this, you're looking for non alcoholic perfumes, our range of alcohol free perfume are completely free of any alcohol denat, and are instead water and oil based. Our natural fragrances from Provence will leave your skin smelling divine and give a boost of nourishment from the active ingredients too. 

Text: Laura Barrett