INCI Name: Hexadecan-1-ol
What is it: Cetyl Alcohol – also known as hexadecan-1-ol or Palmityl Alcohol – is an all-purpose, non-gelling thickening agent widely used throughout the cosmetic industry for the stable consistency it gives to the products, it is comprised of 95% fatty acids derived from vegetable oils, primarily palm oil. This versatile material is also an emollient, moisturiser, viscosity stabiliser, and foam enhancer. It comes in white, odourless flakes, which are insoluble in cold water, and only very slightly soluble in hot water and alcohol. Cetyl alcohol also helps stabilize emulsions, but it is not an emulsifier on its own.
Usage rate: 1-30% of the oils
Uses: Creams, Lotions, Hair shampoos, Hair conditioners, Body washes, DIY cosmetic and cleaning products
Benefits: Cetyl alcohol helps prevent creams from separating into oil and liquid. A chemical that helps to keep liquid and oil together is known as an emulsifier. It may also make a product thicker or increase the product's ability to foam.
Storage: Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cetyl alcohol should last at least two years.
Caution: Though unlikely to aggravate pre-existing medical conditions, do not use on broken skin or in therapeutic creams. Direct undiluted contact may cause some irritation or discomfort to the skin and eyes. Otherwise, with the use of good practices, there are no known hazards when formulating this material.
For external use only. If ingested, call for immediate medical assistance or local poison control.