No known benefits

Methanol at a glance

  • A synthetic, volatile alcohol
  • Can also be referred to as methyl alcohol
  • Used to help created denatured alcohol
  • Is toxic to humans when inhaled, ingested or applied topically

Methanol description

Methanol, AKA methyl alcohol, is a synthetic, volatile, organic alcohol used as a denaturant, primarily for ethyl alcohol. The Personal Care Council also lists methanol as a solvent and fragrance when used in cosmetics. Denaturants also break or unfold proteins. Methanol denatures ethyl alcohol, making it unfit for human consumption. After this process, ethyl alcohol becomes denatured alcohol and can be used as a solvent or texture enhancer in cosmetics. Denatured alcohol weakens skin’s barrier and should be avoided! The Cosmetic Review Expert Panel deemed methanol only safe for usage as a denaturant. It’s toxic when inhaled, ingested or applied topically.

Methanol references

  • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed October 2023, Webpage
  • eNeurologicalSci, September 2020, pages 1–4
  • Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, October 2017, pages 1–6
  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2001, pages S57-S85

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.