Somewhere, lurking in the depths of your medicine cabinet, you probably own a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. This innocuous little bottle, generally referred to as “rubbing alcohol,” is commonly used as a quick disinfectant and antiseptic. However, its uses extend far beyond these; in fact, the cosmetics and personal care industries utilize its abilities in hundreds--if not thousands--of products, including eye and skin makeup, bath products, lotions, aftershave, deodorant, hair products, and health care products.
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropanol, has several characteristics chemists find work well in makeup and health care merchandise. One of these properties is its ability to dissolve other substances and increase liquidity--quite helpful with heavier ingredients that may tend to clump together. Added to liquid soaps, it reduces the tendency to produce foam when the container is shaken. Isopropyl alcohol cools and soothes irritated skin, and removes oil from the skin’s surface--and, as mentioned previously, this miraculous product is also an antiseptic.
Many acne medications contain isopropyl alcohol because it removes oil, dries the skin, and kills acne-causing bacteria on and beneath the epidermis. When used with tea tree oil or clove oil, isopropyl alcohol has the ability to deter acne while replenishing your skin’s moisture. Clinicians use isopropyl alcohol to cleanse a patient’s ears before they are pierced, then the patient uses the same product to clean their earrings, which helps to prevent infection. As a rubefacient, any abrasion is easily treated with isopropyl alcohol to relieve pain. If your fingernail polish is cracked and you are unable to find your nail polish remover, isopropyl alcohol will remove the polish without any difficulty.
Many hair products contain small amounts of isopropanol because of its previously mentioned ability to liquefy heavy elements. It also increases the absorption rate of chemicals at the hair’s follicle, which is a benefit when using a hair coloring treatment, for instance. Hairsprays regularly contain isopropyl alcohol because it dries quickly without the use of heat. Imagine applying hairspray and using a hair dryer to expedite its hold and you will understand yet another benefit of isopropanol.
For additional information on isopropyl alcohol, or other beauty care chemicals, contact the professionals at Bell Chem today.