Can using alcohol-based products make dry, aging skin feel worse?

People with dry skin especially women over 40 can experience extreme dry skin conditions when using alcohol based skincare products. The effects can worsen other premature aging signs too.

What exactly happens to dry skin if alcohol-based products are used often?

Bad alcohols like ethanol, methanol, isopropyl and benzyl alcohol can significantly disrupt the skin barrier which increases moisture loss, heightening dry skin condition. A damaged skin barrier is stripped of the natural oils and facilitate entry of foreign particles that can cause irritation and poor complexion.

Overall, do you think it’s best to skip alcohol products with dry skin? If so, what would you recommend instead?

Not all alcohols are bad for dehydration. Consumers need to know the type of alcohol ingredients they use in their skincare products. For instance, fatty alcohols can increase skin moisture, and texture due to their hydrating effects. For those willing to avoid alcohol in their skincare products, I recommend you go for jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, shea butter and glycerin.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

Latest from Ask the Expert