Many of the alcohols found in cosmetics are highly toxic, and by reading this guide you will be able to identify on product labels those chemicals to avoid.
Most often the alcohol used in cosmetics is ethanol. Ethanol can be made by the fermentation of sugar or starch or b the hydration of ethylene, an acrylate copolymer (with very toxic synthetic plastic resins, according to Aubrey Hampton of Aubrey Organics). Alcohols marked SD and CD (such as SD Alcohol 40) are “specially denatured” and “completely denatured,” respectively. Chemicals are added to make them poisonous to drink, and these chemicals to avoid, even if the alcohol itself is a natural grain alcohol. Many of the poisons added are neurotoxic; they are often ingredients such as gasoline, acetone, formaldehyde, pine tar, and even kerosene. Isopropyl alcohol is synthetic.
Although it is difficult to find products – especially toners and astringents – without synthetic alcohols, if you read labels you will see that they do exist, and they will more than likely be pure and plant based.