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Stearyl 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 alcohol.
Stearyl Alcohol (also known as octadecyl alcohol or
1-octadecanol) is a substance prepared from stearic acid by the process
of catalytic hydrogenation. It is a fatty alcohol. It takes the form of
white solid granules or flakes which are insoluble in water, with a
melting point of 59°C and boiling point of 210°C.
Stearyl Alcohol has a wide range of uses as an ingredient in
lubricants, resins, perfumes and cosmetics. It is used as an emollient,
emulsifier, and thickener in ointments of various sorts, and is widely
used as a hair coating in shampoos and hair conditioners.
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