This often criticized cosmetic ingredient is nevertheless necessary according to a dermatologist

This often criticized cosmetic ingredient is nevertheless necessary according to

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    Do you regularly analyze the composition of your creams and other cosmetic products? Be careful not to jump to conclusions. An often criticized ingredient is actually very useful for the epidermis.

    Alcohol, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, hydrogenated coconut oil… The list of ingredients in our cosmetic products is often as long as an arm. Solvents, thickeners and emulsifiers with mysterious names, which are criticized – even strongly criticized – by dermatologists. However, a specific ingredient does not deserve its bad reputation, according to a cosmetic expert interviewed by Magic Mom.

    Alcohol, our great enemy?

    Unsurprisingly, the ingredient frequently used in beauty products and which is the subject of debate is… alcohol.

    This compound – which is mainly used to preserve the care formula thanks to its antibacterial properties – is used by manufacturers to replace preservatives – which are poorly received by consumers.

    However, if at a high dose (10 to 15%) alcohol can be irritating (it then causes dry patches, irritation and redness), it nevertheless fulfills certain essential functions in cosmetics: it presents a astringent effect on the skin and makes the formula more easily absorbable.

    The FEBEA (Federation of Beauty Companies) also confirms these effects: alcohol is “used in almost all categories of cosmetic products (…) for its drying, refreshing and antimicrobial properties“.

    In fact, manufacturers are struggling to replace this compound. Some experts even say that when it is present at 5% or less, alcohol is not a problem: it allows the product to remain sterile and evaporates during application.

    It is therefore difficult to form a concrete opinion on “alcohol” (which also represents a whole group of fluids: Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol…), as opinions differ on the subject.

    The expert’s opinion

    Faced with this thorny subject to say the least, Marie-Hélène Lair, Clarins innovation director, would like to remind you that alcohol is not the enemy of the pro and prebiotics of our epidermis (microorganisms considered as ” good” bacteria and nutrients whose role is to nourish these “good” bacteria.).

    Prebiotics are fibers that feed the probiotics naturally present in our skin (and in our intestine). We therefore need a good distribution between the good bacteria and the less good ones, to maintain the right quantity necessary for the defense of our body. However, in cosmetics, legally, we are not allowed to put real bacteria in products. So when a product claims, on its packaging, to contain probiotics, it is, in reality, inactivated parts of the bacteria, but interesting: the peptides. In fact, there is no problem applying a product containing alcohol over or under !”, she says.

    The main thing according to the expert? Do not strip your skin. To do this, she recommends using “toning lotions” before applying a serum and a day cream.

    Soap should also be avoided.

    When we soap the skin, we remove all the bacteria and it then takes an hour for the microbiota to reform, or more if you do not have healthy skin. It is important to preserve the skin’s hydrolipidic film, which is nothing other than a mixture of sebum, sweat and water. It is the skin’s shield. However, if we soap too much, we deteriorate it and it is no longer capable of ensuring its barrier function,” she recalls.

    You now know the right attitude to adopt towards your skin.