Cetyl Alcohol

  • Co-Emulsifier
  • Thickener
  • Emollient
  • Viscosity Enhancer
INCI Cetyl Alcohol
  • Thickener and stabiliser in emulsions
  • Non-greasy emollient
  • Increases slip and spreadability
  • Improves texture and overall feel of products
Type Naturally Derived
Kind Fatty Alcohol
Also Called
  • Cetanol
  • Hexadecanol
  • Palmityl Alcohol
Optimal pH suitable for a wide range
Usage Guidelines 1% to 3%
Formulation Stage Heated oil phase
Form White waxy pellets
Scent Mild, barely noticeable odour
Solubility Oil soluble
Derived From Palmitic Acid combined with vegetable triglycerides
Products Creams, Lotions, Body Butters, Bars and Conditioners

What is Cetyl Alcohol?

Cetyl alcohol is a naturally-derived fatty alcohol that acts as an emollient, co-emulsifier and thickener in cosmetic formulation. Derived from palmitic acid and vegetable triglycerides, cetyl alcohol enhances the viscosity of formulas, creating richer and more decadent products with a soft and smooth finish.

Benefits of cetyl alcohol for skin and hair care

Cetyl alcohol has a wide range of uses, making it a great functional ingredient to include in your formulations. It not only stabilises emulsions, but it adds body and texture that helps moisturisers with lower percentages of oil to still feel luxurious. In anhydrous products, it can significantly reduce tackiness and heaviness that can often be associated with oil-based moisturisers.

How to use cetyl alcohol in formulations

For emulsions, a small amount of cetyl alcohol will enhance viscosity and create a more stable formula. When used in conjunction with an emulsifying wax, cetyl alcohol creates a creamier texture whilst still keeping products light. As an emollient, cetyl alcohol can be added to anhydrous and emulsified products in lieu of or in combination with butters to minimise heaviness and create a softer moisturiser.