Cetyl Alcohol
Cetyl Alcohol
Cetyl Alcohol

Cetyl Alcohol

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Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol commonly derived from vegetable sources like coconut or palm oil. It appears as a waxy substance and is used in various skincare, haircare, and cosmetic products. As an emollient, it helps soften and smooth the skin and hair, while also acting as an emulsifier, thickener, and surfactant in formulations. Cetyl alcohol is known for its non-irritating and non-comedogenic properties, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.

INCI: Cetyl Alcohol

CAS: 36653-82-4

  • Chemical Formula: C₁₆H₃₄O
  • Molecular Weight: Approximately 242.44 g/mol
  • Appearance: White to slightly yellowish waxy solid
  • Odor: Mild characteristic odor
  • Melting Point: Around 49-52°C (120-126°F)
  • Boiling Point: Decomposes before boiling
  • Solubility: Insoluble in water; soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform
  • Purity: Typically 95% or higher
  • Acid Value: Maximum 0.5 mg KOH/g
  • Saponification Value: Typically between 15-25 mg KOH/g
  • Hydroxyl Value: Typically between 250-290 mg KOH/g


Key Features and Benefits:


  • Emollient Properties: Cetyl alcohol acts as an emollient, meaning it helps to soften and smooth the skin and hair. It forms a protective barrier on the skin's surface, locking in moisture and preventing dryness.

  • Conditioning Agent: In haircare products such as conditioners and styling products, cetyl alcohol helps to condition the hair, reducing frizz, enhancing shine, and improving manageability.

  • Emulsifying Agent: Cetyl alcohol serves as an emulsifier in formulations, helping to blend and stabilize oil and water-based ingredients. This ensures that products have a uniform texture and do not separate over time.

  • Thickening Agent: As a thickener, cetyl alcohol contributes to the viscosity and texture of creams, lotions, and other formulations. It gives products a rich, creamy consistency and enhances their spreadability.

  • Stabilizer: Cetyl alcohol helps to stabilize formulations, preventing them from breaking down or spoiling prematurely. This ensures that products remain effective and safe for use over their shelf life.


  • Skin Care: Creams, lotions, moisturizers, body butters, facial cleansers
  • Hair Care: Conditioners, hair masks, leave-in treatments, styling products
  • Baby Care: Gentle shampoos, baby lotions, diaper creams
  • Sun Care: Sunscreens, after-sun lotions
  • Pharmaceutical: Ointments, topical formulations

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