Cetearyl alcohol is a chemical found in cosmetic products. It’s a white, waxy substance made from cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, both fatty alcohols. They’re found in animals and plants, like coconut and palm oil. They can also be made in a laboratory.
They are used in personal care products, mainly skin lotions, hair products, and creams. They help create smoother creams, thicker lotions, and more stable foam products.
Fatty alcohols are sometimes called long-chain alcohols because of their chemical formula. They usually have an even number of carbon atoms, with a single alcohol group (–OH) attached to the last carbon.
Cetyl alcohol has 16 carbon atoms. Stearyl alcohol has 18. Cetearyl alcohol is a combination of the two, so it has 34 carbon atoms. Its molecular formula is C34H72O2.
Cetostearyl alcohol (also known as Cetearyl alcohol) is actually a mixture of cetyl (C16) and stearyl alcohols (C18). It comes from the extraction of vegetable oils such as palm oil. It is a white, waxy solid at room temperature.
Cetostearyl alcohol is a nonionic surfactant and it is a common ingredient in skin care formulations where it can fulfill a variety of functions. It can act as an emulsion stabilizer, a fragrance ingredient, an opacifying agent a surfactant/emulsifying agent, a surfactant/foam booster; and a viscosity increasing agent.
What is it used for?
Cetyl alcohol helps prevent creams from separating into oil and liquid. A chemical that helps to keep liquid and oil together is known as an emulsifier. It may also make a product thicker or increase the product’s ability to foam.
Products with cetearyl alcohol
hair removal creams
anti-frizz hair cream
It most often appears on the ingredient list as cetearyl alcohol, but may have many other names.
(C16-C18) alkyl alcohol
1-octadecanol, mixed with 1-hexadecanol
Cetearyl alcohol isn’t the only fatty alcohol used in cosmetic products. Other examples include cetyl alcohol, lanolin, oleyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol.
Is Cetearyl alcohol safe to use on my skin?
Cetostearyl alcohol is regarded as a low-risk skincare formulation ingredient and is safe to use on our skin.
The above information is for general research purposes only and is not a representation or warranty of any kind. This material is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The user of this material is solely responsible for determining fitness for any particular use; requesting and reviewing the applicable Material Safety Data Sheet; and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Terms and conditions apply.
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