Safe and unsafe alcohols in skincare

When it comes to skin care products and their mysterious ingredients, we need to give alcohol a much-deserved moment of clarity since it is often perceived only as harsh for skin due to misleading information found online. There are safe and unsafe alcohols in skincare and it’s important to know more about them.

There are many kinds of alcohols with different uses and different health effects. Some are considered safe for topical use while others are not. However, we should keep in mind that research says that alcohol as a main ingredient in any skin care product is a problem.

First, let’s get technical. Alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a saturated carbon atom. A hydroxyl group is an oxygen atom bonded to a hydrogen atom, and it’s found on a truly vast number of organic molecules.

Alcohols are diverse, encompassing everything from wine to rubbing alcohol to retinol and beyond. All alcohols do share that hydroxyl group, but they can have vastly different structures.

There are ways to help you determine if your skin care product has ‘good’ or ‘bad’ alcohol content. It’s important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.

If you buy a new beauty or cosmetic product that has an alcohol as a main ingredient, it’s fair game to consider this a red flag. Still, there’s no need to steer clear of all alcohols, all the time.

The drying type of alcohol that you’ll most often see listed on an ingredient label as SD alcohol, denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol are volatile alcohols that give products a quick-drying finish with an immediately degrease skin and feel weightless on skin. Added in cosmetics, they will make a product feel lighter on the skin and dry quickly in case you have oily skin. But those short-term benefits end up with negative long-term consequences.

You might have heard that alcohol is a great ingredient because it helps other ingredients like retinol and vitamin C absorb into skin more effectively. It is true that it enhances absorption of ingredients, but the alcohol also destroys skin’s surface. There are certainly other gentler ways to get good ingredients into skin, without damaging its outer layer.

The alcohols known as fatty alcohols are non-irritating and can be beneficial for the skin. Examples you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products.

  • Unsafe Alcohols for Skin: SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, methanol, benzyl alcohol

  • Safe Alcohols for Skin: cetearyl alcohol, glycol, cetyl alcohol, C12-16, stearyl alcohol, myristyl Aalcohol, lauryl alcohol

Let’s talk a bit more about the unsafe alcohols. In some skin care products, simple or denatured alcohols can be found, which are created using petroleum-based ingredients. While some are used as preservatives; others are used to get skin care formulas to the right textures. They help liquid formulas dry quickly on your skin and they can also help reduce excess sebum. It can be tempting to use these products because they provide an immediate matte finish. These being said, certain denatured alcohols can have short-term positive effects for oily complexions. But when used repeatedly, these alcohols can also weaken your skin’s natural barrier, making it harder for your skin to retain moisture and elasticity while also making your skin vulnerable to environmental stress like UV radiation. Repeated use of these alcohols can significantly increase symptoms of aging and loss of elasticity. These alcohols may be capable of causing breakouts, skin irritation, and wrinkles but these ingredients are unlikely to have a harmful effect upon your overall health.

How to differentiate the bad from the good? In contrast to denatured alcohols made using petroleum products, fatty alcohols are derived from natural ingredients like coconut and nuts. These fatty alcohols (cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, propylene glycole), are rich in healthy fats and are generally used as emulsifiers, to help create a thick texture which can be nourishing for the skin. Fatty acids lock in moisture and help to bolster your skin’s defensive barrier. While fatty acids are safe for use on most skin types, they may not be suitable for sensitive skin.

Truth be told, there are many natural and safe alternatives that can be used in their stead. Consider seeking out a product that features natural astringents, like green tea or witch hazel. Natural ingredients like radish root ferment filtrate can also be used instead of harmful preservatives in order to lengthen products’ shelf lives, without putting a consumer’s health at risk.

The risks and benefits of different alcohols are often misunderstood. Fatty alcohols have a place in skin care formulas, as they benefit the skin by boosting moisture retention. We recommend seeking out natural alternatives to denatured alcohols wherever possible, and carefully monitoring your skin while using any alcohol-based product!

alcohol in skincare


Winter Skincare

Cold temperatures, dry air and indoor heating affects our skin, impairing its barrier function and leaving it vulnerable to dehydration. The top layer of the skin is a barrier which can be damaged. In this case, the bad things from outside get into your skin while the good things that you want to keep in your skin, like moisture, evaporate out. When you’re inside at home or at your office, using a humidifier will add moisture and help keep your skin hydrated. So run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in! Keep in mind to minimize exposure to agents that strip the skin of its natural oils! It may be tempting to take a long, steamy hot shower, but the truth is that these are going to wash away any good oil that your skin generates. As a result, your skin becomes much more vulnerable. So in wintertime, it’s better to take quick showers with water as cool as you can tolerate. You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands! Yep, winter skincare routine is challenging.    

Some advice

Going to your local drugstore to find a local salesperson to give you correct advice on what products you should use during wintertime, might not be a very easy task. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment since they can analyze your skin type and give you advice on the skin care products you should use. For now, we can give you some generalized advice. The good news is that a little bit of prep goes a long way in keeping your skin healthy through cold weather. There are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long.

What to minimize or avoid

Be careful in your choice of soaps since the wrong ones can worsen itchy, dry skin. For instance, regular bar soaps may contain irritating ingredients and fragrances. Products with alcohol are also concerning, because alcohol can strip your skin of natural oils. Look for products specifically labeled “fragrance-free,” referring to artificial fragrances and perfumes, because “unscented” products may contain fragrances. Products containing natural fragrances from essential oils are not problematic and may also be soothing based on their herbal healing properties.


Dry skin isn’t as efficient at shedding its dead cells, so it’s worth investing in an exfoliator to keep dullness at bay. Lightweight foaming cleansers feel great in summer, but in winter when things are altogether drier, it’s worth switching to a hydrating cleanser. Go gently with it as over-zealous peeling can overstimulate oily skin and leave dry skin feeling even drier. The best time to exfoliate is during night time regime since the skin doesn’t have to contend with UV rays afterwards. Truth be told, right now is the best time of year for brightening and exfoliating treatments, as lower UV levels mean skin is less vulnerable to damage. At the end of the process, you should apply a moisturizer to seal in the moisture.


Before getting into more details about creams, let’s talk about SPF for a minute. If you don’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean it’s not there! So don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter! The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage. Also, it is important to keep in mind that on bright days, snow reflects the sun’s rays up to 80% according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Having said that, it’s still worth wearing daily SPF protection. So before you go outside, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher!

Which moisturizer should I use in the wintertime?

Now, moisturizing is one of the most important steps that one must do in wintertime! Hydration is the key for optimizing skin plumpness and making sure that the skin does not lose its natural oils. You may have a great moisturizer that works just fine in warmer months, but as weather conditions change so should your skin care routine. During the winter months, go for a moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based. The oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Did you know that night lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based? You can focus your search on creams based on oils like coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, buttermilk, cucumbers. If your skin is on the dry side, look for creams with barrier-repairing ceramides and fatty acids since these prevents water loss. AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends you stop using products that contain alcohol and fragrances. Furthermore, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Many astringents contain alcohol, which can dry your skin even more. Find a an oil cleanser, cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are hydrating, rather than clay-based. Do you use facial oils or a face serum? You should! A couple of drops mixed in to your day or night cream helps to lock in moisture and keep skin petal-soft. Now don’t forget your lips! Our lips have no oil glands of their own, which is why they chap and crack so badly in cold weather. Applying a moisturizing balm such as petroleum jelly can help.


Having all that covered up, it’s not just your face that might need a little extra help in winter. Just because our bodies are swathed in layers of wool and you wear gloves when you go outside, it doesn’t mean they should miss out on a nourishing boost. Cover your whole body in oil-based body creams after every shower. Try finding lotions that contain rich plant-based butters like shea, cocoa or mango butter. Keep in mind that winter isn’t only about chic dresses and boot combos, but also about switching up your usual skincare routine to keep your skin healthy and radiant year long. Happy winter!



Some of our recommended products for winter skincare

Healthy Face Cream – Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer
Silky Body – All Body Lotion
Happy Feet – Best Moisturizer for Cracked Heels
Hand Shake Balm – Best Hand Moisturizer for Dry Hands

Natural deodorants

Natural and organic is the way to go and lately, this lifestyle has grown in popularity.
If you’re eager to go natural, you’ve already started to clean up your diet, going cruelty free in the beauty department, you have also begun to think about what else you can make progress with. Maybe you started purchasing non-toxic cleaning products and you’ve also tried out some natural deodorants but you got pretty bummed about it. Swapping out personal care products can be the most intimidating!

If you walk into any organic market or high-end cosmetic store, you’ll find shelves stocked with alternative deodorants and antiperspirants. What’s the difference between those two?
Antiperspirants are designed to keep you from sweating and their two main ingredients – aluminum and zirconium are added to temporarily plug your sweat glands.
Deodorants mask and neutralize underarm odor, but they won’t prevent you from sweating.

Most antiperspirants also contain the following common ingredients: parabens that act as hormone disruptors, triclosan, which is a known pesticide, and artificial colors and bleaches that can irritate the skin.
Typically, antiperspirants are coupled with a deodorant, which contains the pleasant scent that stops you from stinking.
Now, here’s the question – did all the deodorants you’ve been using until now contain aluminum and did that effect your health in any way?
All the major research into aluminum antiperspirants since the early 2000s has suggested that they’re not a problem, according to Dr. Susan Massick, a dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

This study from 2004 shows that if you apply a lot of Old Spice leads to DNA damage. Some researchers suggested that the aluminum in the deodorant might be the culprit, and that aluminum-bearing deodorants might be causing breast cancer in women since underarm antiperspirants are applied near the breast. Several scientists have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer.
Some studies suggest that chemicals in antiperspirants, including aluminum, are absorbed into the skin, particularly during shaving. Those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells.

After creating a statistic about the health issues of the people using aluminum antiperspirants, scientists thoroughly debunked the idea that women who use aluminum-based antiperspirants get breast cancer more often than those who don’t. This study published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology examined all the existing research into health issues surrounding aluminum and found no evidence that using this type of antiperspirant leads to breast cancer.
So for the chemical to cause cancer it has to actually enter the body in high doses. A small daily dab of aluminum to the armpit just doesn’t do that. To really purge aluminum from the body, you’d have to get rid of more than just antiperspirant.

People who are truly at risk for aluminum related cancers are for example, the industrial workers at smelters and other plants where’s a high concentration of aluminum-laces dust in the air.
Considering that one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, the idea that antiperspirants might somehow contribute to the disease is a serious claim.
So if you have a chance to potentially reduce your risk of illness by changing up your deodorant, wouldn’t you?
Further concerns about antiperspirants and kidney diseases were raised many years ago. Dialysis patients were given a drug called aluminum hydroxide to help control their high phosphorus levels in their blood. Since their kidney weren’t functioning properly, their bodies couldn’t remove the aluminum fast enough and it started accumulating.
In reality, it’s almost impossible to absorb enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys but the FDA requires antiperspirant labels to carry the following warning: Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.
Now, we both know that making the transition from conventional antiperspirants to natural deodorants can be a stinky process. We all want to avoid using toxic chemicals, but no one wants to give up smelling fresh and clean in the process. Luckily, you don’t have to!
We at Basic-Naturals prefer the natural way of deodorizing our bodies and have created this amazing product roll on deodorant which is free of aluminum, alcohol and artificial fragrance. This formula is designed for most skin types including sensitive skin. This quick drying formula will eliminate and protect against body odor even in the most intense workout.
Choosing the right organic deodorant product for you requires a little understanding.

Natural deodorants are not antiperspirants. As we were saying earlier, common antiperspirant ingredients (aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium) block your sweat glands from producing sweat. Natural deodorants work by killing bacteria and neutralizing odor so that your sweat doesn’t smell bad.
Natural deodorants also contain plant-based moisturizers. Ingredients like shea butter, olive oil and mineral-rich clay can actually improve the condition of your pits, leaving them smooth and less prone to irritation.
Keep in mind that some natural ingredients work better for some people than others. Baking soda is an amazing deodorizer but some people with sensitive skin find it a bit too harsh for their underarm skin and may want a baking-soda free variety.
People who sweat heavily may prefer an organic deodorant that contains more heavy duty sweat-absorbing powders – kaolin clay and/or cornstarch.
The bottom line is this: there is a natural deodorant that will work for you! Don’t throw in the towel if you’ve gone the natural route and haven’t been impressed yet. You may just need to try different formula’s until you find the right one for you.
The best way to choose a product is to stay informed. Read the labels on products and learn more about the ingredients used in the brands that you use. So don’t forget to check out our roll on deodorant. It might be just perfect for you!


What is organic skincare?

Most of us are aiming to live a healthy lifestyle, whether that means eating healthy, exercising a few times per week, buying organic or reducing our carbon footprint.

In the last few years, the beauty industry has joined the wellness trend by commercializing products with terms like “natural”, “organic” and even “certified organic”. These are the most common marketing works used to describe products that contain ingredients sourced from nature.

Do you buy organic products because you think they are a great choice for your body or maybe just because it became a popular buzzword? Do you really understand what the term “organic”actually means? Or are you on the fence about switching to natural products?

Basically, the term “organic” refers to how an ingredient was farmed – it must be prepared and grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, growth hormones or antibiotics.

organic skin care by basic naturals

When talking about the food industry, organic products are regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) which is run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Producers and manufacturers that meet the NOP standards may label their products as certified organic. These standards were implemented in 2002 in the wake of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and continue to be interpreted and developed by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). These standards address many factors: soil quality, animal raising, pest and weed control, and also the use of input materials.

If you want more details about the organic products in the food industry please check out the USDA website.

What about when it comes to skincare? And what exactly does it take for a beauty product to be classified as “organic”?

Clean beauty should be focused on transparency and wellness. It’s about brands being clear and honest about their choice of ingredients and ethics.

Organic beauty is about using products that are made from high quality, organic farmed ingredients. Going on the natural beauty path means saving your skin from being exposed to harsh chemicals that are harmful to your body and also leave a significant impact on the environment.

Long story short, given the right nutrients, our skin has the ability to care for itself. Keep in mind that our bodies use nutrients absorbed not only through food, but also through the skin. We tend to be far more scrutinizing about what we put in our body than what we put on it. But what goes on your skin absorbs into your bloodstream and is carried through your body. There are a lot of products packed with chemicals and artificial ingredients that might have temporary positive effects but long-term negative effects. So skincare products can be a major source of toxins.

While organic products are sourced from high quality sustainable sources and biodegradable ingredients, they say no to: toxic chemicals, GMO, parabens, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances nano particles.

Organic products are also a green choice that’s supporting the planet’s well-being. Organic skincare will most likely have an earth friendly packaging material and even cruelty free from testing on animals.

Women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day, according to research by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. How does this happen? Many beauty products will give you instant gratification with skincare results: less visible wrinkles, sun spots disappear, never have acne again! Sound familiar? But we all know there are rarely quick fixes in life.

These products may keep their word but too often there’s a higher price: skin asphyxiation, accelerated dehydration, photo-sensitivity. Does it worth it?

If you want to find out more about safe and unsafe products, please check out this website:

Switching to organic often clears up dermatological issues people have been experiencing for years.

If you want to make sure what you are consuming is healthy, like picking out foods at the grocery store, checking the nutrition facts label on every packaging is the same as paying attention to the ingredients list of your skincare products.

How do we know if a product is organic? There are four options for organic claims — two of them are allowed to use the USDA Organic Seal on their packaging, and two of them are not.

100% Organicthe product contains only organically produced ingredients and is permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal.

Organic the product contains at least 95% organically produced ingredients and is permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal.

Made With Organic Ingredientsthe product contains at least 70% organic ingredients but is not permitted to display the seal.

Less than 70% Organic Ingredients products are not permitted to use the term “organic” anywhere on the packaging (and cannot display the seal) but are allowed to identify organically produced items in the ingredient list.

Beauty products labeled with organic claims must comply with both USDA regulations for the organic claim and FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics.
If you want to be certain the products they are buying really are organic, they need to look out for the USDA seal. Also, look for specific terms such as “free of parabens” or “free of synthetic fragrance and dye”. Animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax and honey are natural ingredients. If you want to avoid animal-derived ingredients, you also need to check that the product is vegan.

The key to know for sure if there are harmful ingredients in your makeup or skincare products is to read the label. Be aware!

At Basic Naturals, we use organically grown flowers, high quality plant-based oils, pure essential oils and harm-free waxes (organic, first cold press and non-GMO).

“Mother Nature has provided us with everything we need, and that is all we should use.”

Simple skin care hacks that will make you look and feel better

We often encounter scenarios that could make us look or feel uncomfortable. From sterilizing our hands through moisturizing and healing our skin, here are some simple skin care hacks that will make you look and feel better.
  1. Dry hands or face:
    • Aloe vera – Why not growing an aloe vera plan in your home or work environment? Aloe plants are easy to grow. (You can carry an aloe vera leaf in your car or bag if you can’t grow the plant. One leaf can last a long time) simply squeeze some aloe vera gel from the wider part of the leaf and rub it in on the desire surface.
    • Avocado – Don’t throw the skin after scooping out the fruit, use the left overs and apply directly on hands or face.
    • Vegetable oil – moisturizing your skin with olive oil or any available vegetable oil when your skin is dry is an excellent way to prevent dry and cracked skin. The best way is to rub in a small amount of oil on wet skin. No need emulsifier to combine the oil and the water. The rubbing is doing it on the spot.
  2. Cleaning your hands from germs – Carry some citrus fruit or peels with you. If you are not near a source of water and soap, peal the skin of a lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit and rub it on your hands. The citrus oil extracted from the peel has antibacterial properties making it perfect for killing germs. Your hands will also smell good with this skin care hack.
  3. Refresh and nourish your face – The office space tends to be very dry especially because of the air-conditioning. Causing our skin look and feel very dry. Making some green tea or chamomile tea? Don’t throw away the tea bags and apply all over the face, neck and under eye. Your skin will feel softer and naturally glowing from the cool tea bags full of antioxidants.
  4. Itchy skin – whether it’s from dry flaky skin, rash or bug bite, an aloe vera gel can help relief the itchiness almost immediately. Another alternative is to place ice cube or something cold from the fridge and apply on the itchy spot for a quick relief. And another alternative is to carry a calendula salve with you wherever you go.
  5. Minor cuts, scrape or sunburn – See skin care hack #1 about the aloe vera gel.
  6. Mosquito repellent – If you grow a geranium plant and simply rub some leaves on your skin when needed. This may do the trick with those tricky insects. Another alternative is to carry geranium essential oil and an electric diffuser. Here are some for example: Electric Diffuser for Essential Oil.
Hopefully these simple skin care hacks will change your life for the better. aloevera plant - basic-naturals natural lemon hand sanitizer - basic-naturals

Natural eczema treatment for babies

Eczema can be a big hardship for sufferers, especially babies and their parents. It is not yet understood why babies develop eczema and it can be tricky to find a natural eczema treatment for babies that is gentle enough for their delicate skin. Skin Repair Salve was initially developed to treat my hands eczema, caused by when I touched a prickly pear cactus fruit. The main active ingredient of this product is calendula oil, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and ant-septic properties. Thus making it very effective as a natural treatment for eczema. Once I developed a formula that worked for me, we decided to try it on our baby for his diaper rash and a mild rash on his face from food residue. Within 10-20 minutes of applying it to clean skin, we saw improvements. We couldn’t believe we had been using commercial products, such as “Aquaphor” and honestly, they never seemed to work on our child. It didn’t take long before I started handing out samples of our organic calendula salve called Skin Repair to family and friends. The feedback was incredibly positive which led me to produce more and sell more. It has become our bestselling product. I studied and experimented with other types of natural skin care products, which eventually let me to start Skin Repair has become the go-to natural eczema treatment for babies in our family and among our friends and customers. We even have a dedicated fan who restocks regularly to treat his dog eczema. The key to Skin Repair Salve is our concentrated formula – 70% organic calendula oil – making it the most effective eczema treatment among other products in the market. And most importantly, it keeps the babies happy. natural treatment for baby rash - Basic-Naturals

By seeking for a natural cure for eczema he created Basic-Naturals

Sometimes good things happen when we are not in the comfort zone or maybe even in a bad situation which we are trying to escape from. In this case it’s the story of a natural skin care line. By seeking for a natural cure for eczema he created Basic-Naturals; a natural handmade skin care products located in Connecticut, USA. Yaniv, today the founder of touched a prickly pear (cactus fruit) in 2009. He then developed a serious and painful case of eczema. His dermatologist prescribed only cortisone cream (steroid), but he insisted to find a natural alternative. His pain and passion led him to his vision to find a natural cure for eczema. After four years of research and testing natural products on the market he created Basic-Naturals. His product was Skin Repair – Calendula Salve. Today, Basic-Naturals have a line of all natural products including after shave, foot moisturizer and several unique face products;  all free of chemicals and artificial fragrances. By seeking for a natural cure for eczema he created Basic-Naturals