College O'Natural

My life as an earth-wise health-conscious college student. DIY, budgets, and the occasional rant!

Alcohol in Hair and Skin Products: Friend or Foe?

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Very science based article, but definitely something to consider when using cosmetics.

Nature's Pulchritude

Navigating ingredient lists for ineffective ingredients and cancerous or toxic chemicals can be challenging.  Many personal care products, specifically hair conditioners, gels, hair sprays and various skin creams, contain alcohols, however, all alcohols are not created equally (figuratively speaking).  Some alcohols can be very drying to the hair, whereas others have the opposite effect and provide a feeling of softness.

Chemically, alcohols are organic compounds that have molecules that contain one or more hydroxyl groups (neutral -OH) attached to a carbon atom.  The oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) atoms form a covalent bond, or share electrons.  Alcohols vary in chain length, with fatty alcohols having 8-21 carbon atoms and a high molecular weight, and ‘simple’ short chain alcohols having 1-3 carbon atoms with low molecular weights.

Fatty Alcohols

Chain Length of Fatty Alcohols

Fatty alcohols are typically derived from natural feedstocks, such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil.  These…

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Author: saratonin59

Earth-wise, health-conscious, and on a budget!

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