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Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol which is derived from a fat source. It
does not behave like a 'real alcohol' like ethanol and is not drying to
the skin. Fatty alcohols are derived from coconut oil and palm oil.
Cetyl alcohol is made by heating coconut oil with a strong base like
Sodium hydroxide (Lye). This process is the same process used to make
soap (saponification). The differences between cetyl, stearyl and
cetostearyl alcohol Cetyl and Stearyl alcohol are very little. Stearyl
alcohol is a slightly longer version of cetyl alcohol having two
additional carbons (Cetyl has 16 carbons while Stearyl has 18).
Cetostearyl alcohol is simply a combination of cetyl and stearyl
Cetyl alcohol, also known as 1-hexadecanol and palmityl alcohol, is a
solid organic compound and a member of the alcohol class of compounds.
At room temperature, cetyl alcohol takes the form of a waxy white solid
or flakes. It belongs to the group of fatty alcohols.
Cetyl alcohol is used in the cosmetic industry as a surfactant in
shampoos, or as an emollient, emulsifier or thickening agent in the
manufacture of skin creams and lotions.
It is a very effective thickener that helps form extremely stable
emulsions in water-in-oil (full moisturizer) and oil-in-water (oil-free
May be used in conjunction with emulsifying wax.
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