Just read the ingredients list of your favourite products to discover that there is alcohol in it? You may be feeling shocked & disappointed, or perhaps you don’t really care. But with alcohols in hair and skin care becoming a hot internet topic, it is important to separate the facts from fiction.
Firstly, it’s good to know that there are alcohols and alcohols. Some of which are terrible for the hair & skin, others that are wonderful.
Secondly, if you are a little confused by all the talk of ‘good & bad’ ingredients in personal care products, you aren’t alone! It is statistically unlikely you are a Chemist & more likely that your chemistry education stopped at high school, or a few units in university - like us! That’s why we employ the use of an Organic Chemist & natural cosmetic product expert to help fill in the gaps from our science education.
Thomas de Waal is an Organic Chemist and Founder of the 100% natural cosmetic formulation lab; Rebel Nature: 'There are many different types of alcohol & most often it is something completely different to what people think. Alcohol is basically a name for a group of very broad compounds'.
An example of this is a compound that we are very used to coming across in our daily life; Sucrose. This sugar that we often see listed in the ingredients of our food, also has a lot of alcohol groups within its molecule that we never hear about because most people don’t realise. 'Alcohol can come in many forms and shapes and simply means that the compound contains an -OH within the molecular structure'.
There are definitely a lot of alcohols you want to avoid for your skin because they can be drying or even harmful, such as ethanol, methanol, butanol, pentanol or any other type of simple substance which contains the group alcohol. These simple types of alcohol are typically quite drying to the skin because they evaporate quickly, causing rapid water loss. They are also great solvents which means they can easily penetrate and actually even dissolve your skin, damaging your precious skin barrier.
'Basically alcohol is simply the name for a group of many different materials. Behenyl is a very complex fatty alcohol and it has a lot of wonderful properties for your skin & hair.'
Then there are alcohols like cetearyl, myristyl, behenyl alcohols. These types of alcohols are fatty and can do the exact opposite of the simple, drying alcohols. Rather than drawing water out of the epidermis, leading to dry skin, they can actually assist retention of water giving soft, hydrated skin and hair.
'When we speak about alcohol, we usually speak about the stuff we consume at party’s or the stuff in nail polish remover. But alcohols like cetearyl alcohol, or in this case behenyl alcohol, do the complete opposite of what most people expect. It is this exact reason why we included it in the formulation of the Nourished x Romy Conditioner. Combined with behenyl betenaite mesylate, this fatty alcohol is incredibly hydrating and moisturising, creating a beautiful synergy for everything you want in a conditioner.'
After almost 12-months of formulation & reformulation, tested on many many different types of hair, we believe we have delivered the best natural conditioner on the market. With 5-star reviews from testing rounds on long hair, thick hair, thin hair, kids hair, men’s hair, dry hair, damaged hair, coloured hair and even curly hair we are convinced that you are going to love it too.
Explore our Natural Hair Care Duo in collaboration with Romy Boomsma