Cetearyl alcohol
Cetearyl alcohol

Products with INCI Cetearyl alcohol names in the offer of PCC Group
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The simultaneous combination of cleansing and skin care is one of the main goals of cosmetic preparations. Cetearyl Alcohol is a non-ionic surfactant belonging to the group of fatty alcohols. Being a popular ingredient added to cosmetic formulations, it acts as an emulsifier, ensuring the durability of the resulting emulsion, emollient, moisturising substance and greasing agent. It is a mild ingredient used in most cosmetics.

General characteristics

Cetearyl Alcohol is the name given by the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) to a compound non-ionic surfactant that is a mixture of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. Both of these alcohols are fatty alcohols. The CAS number of Cetearyl Alcohol is 67762-27-0.

The physical and chemical properties of Cetearyl Alcohol:

  • appearance: waxy solid,
  • colour from white to light yellow,
  • solidification point: from 50 to 54 ᵒC,
  • carbonyl value: max. 200 mg/kg,
  • iodine value: max. 1.0 g I2/100 g.

Functions and effects of Cetearyl Alcohol in cosmetics

Cetearyl Alcohol is a popular alcohol added to many cosmetic formulations. Its action is based on the function of the solvent of active substances, the function of a preservative or emulsifier. Moreover, it has other important functions in cosmetic products:

Bodying agent

As a substance with emulsion stabilising properties, Cetearyl Alcohol gives the desired form of a cosmetic product. It is responsible for the stabilisation of oil-in-water emulsions, water-in-oil emulsions and water-free formulations. It directly affects the viscosity of a product, giving it appropriate performance and application properties. Fatty alcohols, which include cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, are designed to stabilise the emulsion, i.e., prevent it from delaminating into water and oily components. The compound also provides and improves spreadability and can support foaming.


Cetearyl Alcohol is included in a range of cosmetics designed for skin and hair care. It creates a so-called occlusive layer on the surface. It prevents excessive evaporation of water, thus keeping skin and hair soft and smooth. For this reason, it is dedicated primarily for use on dry skin. As an emollient, Cetearyl Alcohol is indirectly also a cosmetic ingredient with a moisturising effect. It reduces the drying effect of anionic surfactants – leaves the skin moisturised and covered with a protective layer.

Regreasing substance

Cleansing cosmetic products remove sebum and epidermal fatty substances from the skin surface. While it is desirable to thoroughly clean the skin, it also allows unwanted substances from the environment to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. For this reason, regreasing substances, such as Cetearyl Alcohol, are commonly added to cosmetics, creating a specific protective layer.

Cosmetic products containing Cetearyl Alcohol:

  • hair shampoos,
  • hair conditioners,
  • cleansing milks and oils,
  • shower gels,
  • body lotions,
  • hand and foot creams,
  • aftershave creams,
  • body scrubs,
  • self-tanners,
  • anti-wrinkle creams,
  • hair removal preparations,
  • mascaras,
  • lip balms,
  • anti-acne preparations.

Other applications of Cetearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl Alcohol is most commonly used in all kinds of cosmetic products. It can also be successfully used in other industrial sectors. It is found in a number of detergents – it is responsible for foam stabilisation in products intended for cleaning hard surfaces. In the pulp and paper industry, it is a component of emulsion skimmers. It is a component of processing fluids, and in the paint and varnish industry serves as a component of open-time regulators (so-called OTE).