Health Tip: 'Alcohol-Free' Products May Not Be

FDA clears up labeling confusion

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(HealthDayNews) -- Some people try to avoid ethyl alcohol in cosmetic products because they think it will dry out their skin and hair.

But don't let the term "alcohol-free" fool you, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Alcohols are a large and diverse family of chemicals, with different names and effects on the skin, the FDA says.

When it comes to labeling on cosmetics, the term "alcohol" refers to ethyl alcohol. But products labeled "alcohol-free" may contain other alcohols, such as cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl or lanolin, the agency says.


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