my-cart-icon svg-arrow-next svg-arrow-prev
Spring Sale 20% off $75 or more with code: BLOOM Exclusions Apply

Why Should You Choose Alochol-Free Skincare Products?

Posted by Ellie Swain on Sep 6th 2021

Why Should You Choose Alochol-Free Skincare Products?

Alcohol is commonly found in facial cleansers, toners, sunscreens, and many other beauty products. But they can irritate the skin, especially if you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin. The alcohol in beauty products removes water from the skin’s surface, leading to dryness and that uncomfortable tightening of the skin.

While the tightening of the skin’s pores is only temporary, dryness can result in problem skin. With continued use of products containing alcohol, you may notice patchy dry spots, blemishes, and acne breakouts.

Fortunately, there are many alcohol-free alternatives out there. Keep reading to learn more about how alcohol affects the skin and some alternative products to look for.

What Does Alcohol Do To The Skin?

Alcohol weakens the skin. While solvents boost the water solubility of ingredients and evaporate rapidly, they also remove the water in your skin as they dry.

Consistent, regular use of alcohol-based formulas can lead to dryness, erosion, and degradation of natural oils on the epidermis, along with extra pressure on the skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself.

Cheap alcohols can also surge oiliness with time, which counteracts the de-greasing effect products containing alcohol are supposed to offer. While solvents adversely affect the surface of the skin and the natural oils that keep it healthy long term, fatty alcohols aggravate the skin by clogging pores.

That’s why brands began to introduce alcohol-free products to naturally help the skin without causing long-term damage to its outer layer.

Choosing Alcohol-Free Skincare Products

So, how do you find alcohol-free skincare products? The first step to removing alcohol from your skincare is reading the label next time you browse the shops for new products. Brands must list their ingredients by their amounts, so if you notice alcohol listed among the first six ingredients, this isn’t a great sign, and there’s going to be a lot in the product.

Any formulas with alcohol high up on the ingredients list are likely to irritate and weaken the skin.

The next step is looking for an alcohol-free alternative. All forms of alcohol are irritants, and in healing formulas like a cleanser or balm, this is the last ingredient you’d want lurking around.

Finding a vegan product is a great idea but remember that alcohol of any kind isn’t good for your skin. The moisturizing fatty alternatives aren’t much better, plus they’re often derived from plant oil. This means they aren’t kind to the environment either, which is another huge no-no.

Fortunately, fatty alcohols aren’t the only options available. Seek soothing, moisturizing ingredients like calendula and candelilla, which lessen pain, prevent dryness and don’t clog pores.

What are the top alcohol-free products to use?

Some products are more beneficial being alcohol-free than others. Let’s see which.


Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable ‘tight’ feeling after washing your face? Then it may suggest that your cleanser contains ethanol which can dry out your skin. While you may associate the tight feeling with meaning your face is squeaky clean, this isn’t always the case. Alcohol can interfere with your complexion’s protective acid mantle, a thin and slightly acidic layer that helps keep your skin pH level balanced.

Opt for a cleanser that’s gentler and kinder to the skin, such as Dermalogica’s Clear Start Breakout Foaming Wash . This breakout-fighting, foaming foam is mild and non-stripping, targeting dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oils that clog pores and lead to breakouts.


In recent years, sunscreens containing common chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate have been banned from popular vacation destinations such as Hawaii, Key West, and the Great Barrier Reef. The reason why? These common chemicals are damaging the marine ecosystem and stripping our beautiful coral reefs.

Not only are sunscreens containing alcohol damaging for the environment, but they’re not great for us humans, either. Alcohol, oxybenzone, and other chemicals are absorbed into the human bloodstream. Plus, sunscreens with alcohol may cause skin dryness and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin or people prone to experiencing prickly heat, which is certainly not what you want when you’re relaxing on the beach.

Keep safe by avoiding alcohol and other harsh sunscreen chemicals. We’re a fan of the EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 , a light, sheer daily facial moisturizer containing UV protection for the face. The formula glides onto the skin easily and absorbs rapidly into the skin, meaning you can wear it alone or under makeup.

Not only is the sunscreen alcohol-free, but it contains the skincare ingredient everyone’s talking about – hyaluronic acid – to boost skin hydration, leaving a softer and smoother complexion.


Even if you have oily skin, it’s best to avoid toners that contain alcohol as it will temporarily dry your complexion. Your skin relies on its natural oils to help it maintain its natural barrier gainer bacteria, pollution, and other nasty germs. Stripping down that sebum can leave your skin undefended and exposed.

Be sure to pick a toner without alcohol, such as the Obagi Nu-Derm Toner . Formulated with alum, a natural astringent, the toner adjusts the skin’s pH for optimal penetration.

Do you want more skincare advice? Have a peek at our handy beginner’s guide to retinol .