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Why are alcohols used in natural cosmetics?

Alcohol is not only used in natural cosmetics but across-the-board in a lot of cosmetic products. It serves as a solvent and besides propylene glycol it is the most frequently used extracting agent for natural extracts. On the other hand, alcohol in concentrations of more than 10 per cent has antimicrobial characteristics which means that it can replace preservatives. In comparison to the preservatives authorized in the Cosmetic Decree alcohol will not cause any allergies. Contrary to the prevailing opinion it will not dehydrate the skin in the above mentioned concentrations. Dehydrating effects only appear with high concentrations as used in shaving lotions, fitness frictions and perfumes.

Dr. Hans Lautenschläger

Please note: The contribution is based on the state of the art at the revision date.

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Revision: 17.04.2009