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Cetearyl Alcohol

Approved Ingredients
Cetearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl alcohol is a white waxy solid ingredient with a mild soapy odour, and is in a group known as a ‘fatty alcohols’. Unlike more conventional alcohols like ethanol, fatty alcohols have notably different properties - typically they are non-irritating and non-drying to skin.

Cetearyl alcohol has a range of uses in different types of products:
In skin care products, it can be used to modify the viscosity (thickness) of lotions or as an emollient (moisturiser), leaving skin soft and smooth.
In personal and hair care products, it can be used as an emulsifier or emulsion stabiliser, helping emulsifying ingredients more effectively reduce surface tension between water and oil, improving performance.

Cetearyl alcohol is primarily made from cetyl and stearyl alcohols, which can be synthetically produced or derived from plant oils such as coconut and palm, or from animal oils (not used by ecostore).

Other names: C18H38O • C16H34O; Alcohols, C16-18; Cetostearyl Alcohol; Cetyl/Stearyl Alcohol; 1-Octadecanol, mixt. with 1-Hexadecanol

Chemical class: Fatty Alcohols


National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 62238, Cetostearyl alcohol. Retrieved July 22, 2021 from

INCI Name:
Cetearyl Alcohol
Ingredient origins:
Oil Palm, Coconut
Emollient, Surfactant, Viscosity Modifying Agent, Emulsifying Agent, Emulsion Stabiliser
Common name:
Cetearyl Alcohol
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.