Alcohol-free minoxidil to combat skin issues: water based minoxidil

Most minoxidil solutions, and even the foams, contain alcohol.

While alcohol in minoxidil has multiple advantages such as speeding up the drying process, the disadvantages are plentiful. Especially for those with a delicate skin, or a history of skin issues.

Let me explain why alcohol-free minoxidil and water based minoxidil can be a viable alternative for people worried about the negative side effects or who have a tender skin.


Is minoxidil water based?

Yes, minoxidil is water based, although it contains a large variety of other essential ingredients such as propylene glycol, alcohol, and of course, the main component which is minoxidil.

Side effects are often the result of the alcohol and propylene glycol that’s present in most solutions, and sometimes foam.

But that doesn’t mean that those components are useless, either. Alcohol helps to speed up the drying process, while propylene glycol helps to dissolve the active ingredient minoxidil, which in return increases minoxidil uptake.


Why is there alcohol in minoxidil?

So why is there alcohol in minoxidil if there are so many negative side effects?

Short-chain alcohols are typically included in minoxidil, and many other skin and hair products.

Yet, these alcohols frequently induce adverse side effects on the skin such as redness, rashes, and flaking among others.

Rogaine for example, includes SD alcohol 40 as an ingredient.

Another short-chain alcohol that is often, although not always, included in minoxidil is propylene glycol.

Propylene glycol helps to dissolve the hair loss’ active ingredient, which is minoxidil. Furthermore, it increases the uptake of minoxidil in the skin by easing the skin penetration.

So alcohol is included in most minoxidil products because it:

  • Acts as a solvent
  • Increases skin penetration
  • Preserves the product (extending shelf life)

Minoxidil foam doesn’t always include propylene glycol as an ingredient, while the minoxidil solution does.

This means that alcohol-free minoxidil foam might be a better fit for those who have sensitive skins or a history of skin issues.


Alcohol-free minoxidil

Image of a prohibition sign with regard to alcohol.

Alcohol-free minoxidil exists, and might be your best bet if you have a sensitive skin, have had skin issues before, or if you’re worried about your general skin health.

Most people, however, shouldn’t worry about their minoxidil containing alcohol and/or propylene glycol because it most likely won’t have a profound negative effect on their skins. As a matter of fact, most people have none, to mild side effects.

But for those who do experience detrimental side effects, alcohol-free minoxidil foam might be your best bet. They’re already much less likely to cause side effects since they don’t contain propylene glycol. Luckily, multiple reputable alcohol-free minoxidil brands exist.


Alcohol-free minoxidil foam

Since most minoxidil solutions contain alcohol, looking for an alcohol-free minoxidil foam is your best bet since foams are less likely to contain alcohol.

Minoxidil foams do not contain propylene glycol, whereas solutions do.

Logically, this is also why foam is less likely to cause negative side effects such as skin rashes, flaking, and redness.


Alcohol-free minoxidil brands

A variety of alcohol-free minoxidil brands exist, such as:

  • Oaknet’s Hair Growth Topical Solution Alcohol Free
  • Aquagaine by Hair Restoration Lab
  • Minicheck F Solution
  • ELEVATE 5% Minoxidil Hair Growth Spray
  • Abbott Minicheck Minoxidil Topical 5% With Procapil Alcohol Free
  • Folliboost 5% Solution Minoxidil Topical Solution (alcohol Free)
  • GrowMax – Minoxidil 5% Solution with Procapil

As we can see, quite a few alcohol-free minoxidil brands exist which we can use as an alternative for people with sensitive skins. They’re also a viable substitute for those who develop a lot of side effects as a result of the alcohol that’s present in most minox products.


Water based minoxidil

Image of a splash of water.

One example of alcohol-free minoxidil is water based minoxidil.

Again, water based minoxidil is great for people with sensitive skins or skin issues because it contains no alcohol. And we know that alcohol can dry out the skin, and cause other skin issues due to irritating the skin.

The downside is that the alcohol in minoxidil does have its perks such as acting as a solvent, increasing skin penetration, and preserving the product.

This means that water based minoxidil, and any other alcohol-free minoxidil might be less effective, and have a shorter shelf life.



Alcohol-free minoxidil and water based minoxidil certainly have their place with regard to combating hair loss.

Nevertheless, if one doesn’t have a sensitive skin or any other skin issues, then they should definitely consider using minoxidil with alcohol. The reason being that alcohol has multiple advantages such as increasing minoxidil uptake, acting as a solvent, and preserving the precut for a longer amount of time.

Minoxidil that includes the ingredient alcohol may be more effective. But water based minoxidil and alcohol-free minoxidil can offer a safe and viable alternative for those with sensitive skins.