First things first… stop putting rubbing alcohol in or on your makeup.

 The only acceptable point of entry/absorption for alcohol when it comes to your body should be through your mouth…  via a nice glass of wine, the weekend cocktail or the occasional celebratory drink for your happy occasions.

And though we’re sure you’ve done your own extensive research into this trade off in your downtime for the  type of alcohol you drink copious amounts of  (Ethyl Alcohol), for now we’re only guilting you about the one you might have heard that you could use on your broken make up (Isopropyl Alcohol/AKA Rubbing alcohol) before Moon Mousse shot onto your radar and into your sweaty little hands. So, before we go any further, we want to tell you why we put so much time and effort into coming up with our all natural product in place of rubbing alcohol and why you should be so grateful to us for doing so. (You’re welcome, by the way).

 We have commissioned Dr. Gitanjali Das from Columbia University to research the effects of using rubbing alcohol to repair broken cosmetics. Dr. Gitanjali has a Ph.D. in Neurosciences followed by research experience in Ophthalmology, Neurodegeneration along with extensive review work for major journals like Plos One. Her expertise includes Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Neurochemistry, Cell Aging, and Neurology. Here is her full report: 

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”.  Since the dawn of time women have used various ornaments and cosmetics to enhance their beauty. Investing in one’s skin is essential as it’s the first interface between oneself and the world. A beautiful skin gives the confidence to walk and deal with the world. In the present age, beauty products come in a range of offerings viz., eyeshadow to enhance the eye’s allure, lipstick to make the lips more enticing, foundation to enhance the facial beauty as also the hide imperfections and blush to rosen the cheeks. Most of these are compactly packed in either small vials or shallow pans. 

Though these are costly items it’s not immune to damage. For example, pressed powder cosmetics arranged in pans and resealable casings have been known to shatter, become undesirably fragmented, or otherwise become loosened when dropped or struck. This damage can make the cosmetic difficult to use. For example, applying a makeup brush to a broken powder cosmetic may cause a user to draw too much of the cosmetic product onto their brush, thereby negatively affecting the application of the product on the skin. As a result, a user may inadvertently apply too much of the cosmetic to their face, which may cause their appearance to be unintentionally blotchy or overly pigmented. In some cases, fragmented portions of a pressed powder cosmetic may even fall entirely out of its pan, making a mess of nearby surfaces and contaminating the fallen portions. This may render the powder unusable and lower the shelf-life of the original product.

As most of these pressed cosmetics are available from high-end brands costing several hundreds of dollars, it’s illogical to throw away the broken cosmetics if there is a possibility of retrieval. Many fashion magazines give us solutions to this problem in the form of rubbing alcohol (RA) or isopropyl alcohol to fix the shattered cosmetics. The way it works is to add RA to the crushed powdered cosmetic and make it to the paste followed by transferring it to the original cosmetic case, letting the cosmetic semi-dry before putting a tissue paper on it followed by re-pressing with a heavy object to make the powder compact again (Renee, 2016). According to the cosmetic chemist, Randy Schueller, re-pressing with RA broken blush or eyeshadow might make it appear good again cosmetically but it will crumble once applied to the face as it lacks the compression strength of the manufacturing process and also the alcohol could affect the way powder dispenses across the face. 

Though the cosmetic could be fixed temporarily using RA as discussed above, however care and caution should be taken utilizing this method as it comes with a variety of side effects. Some of the most distressing side-effects are outlined below:

  1. RA destroys the barrier function of skin: The skin acts as the first barrier against foreign particles capable of causing harm or infections to the person. An intact stratum corneum of the skin is absolutely essential to perform the barrier function (Scheuplein and Blank 1971; Scheuplein, 1976; Püschel, 1981; Bouwstra). RA quickly absorbs into the bloodstream through the damaged epidermis (Paulus, 1951; Püschel, 1981; Jones and Rajs, 1997). RA is known to dry and kill cells in the skin thereby opening the skin to various microbes leading to irritation of the skin and ultimately appearance of rash thus exacerbating acne problem.
  2. RA acts as an enhancer of skin penetration (Friend et al., 1988; Berner et al., 1989; Kim et al., 1996; Kurihara et al., 1990; Heard et al., 2006, 2008) thereby facilitating the transdermal absorption of xenobiotics (eg carcinogenic products in cosmetics) rendering the user prone to various diseases. It removes lipids from the stratum corneum in the skin (Bommannan et al., 1991; Kwak et al., 2012) thereby 
    1. creating holes in the intact skin barrier function and acts as a permeant enhancer (Bommannan et al., 1991; Kai et al., 1990; van der Merwe et al., 2005).
    2. RA makes cosmetics foul smelling that is distressful to many people.
    3. Allergic contact dermatitis is a complaint regularly faced by healthcare workers using RA based handwash (Johnston and English, 2007). Contact dermatitis has been shown to caused by alcohol-induced oxidative metabolism in the skin mostly mediated by the aldehyde dehydrogenase (Wilkin and Fortner, 1985; Okazawa et al., 1998; Barbaud et al., 2000).


    As discussed above, it can be safely concluded that using RA to fix broken cosmetic powder is not a safe option. - Dr. Gitanjali Das, Columbia University



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