INCI: Cetyl Alcohol
Chemical Composition: Cetyl alcohol 100%
Chemical purity: 99.0+%
Molecular Formula: C16H34O
Molecular Weight: 242.44
Origin/Nature Plant extracts
Labels/Agency Classification: Kosher, Halal, ISO 9001 and RSPO SCC
Hydroxyl number 228 - 232 mg KOH/g
Freezing point 48 - 50 °C
Colour, APHA < 10
Moisture < 0.3% by weight
Iodine value < 0.1 g I2/100g
Saponification number < 0.5 mg KOH/g
Acid value < 0.1 mg KOH/g
Homolog distribution, C12 < 2% by weight
Homolog distribution, C14 < 2% by weight
Homolog distribution, C16 > 98% by weight
Homolog distribution, C18 < 2% by weight
Homolog distribution, C20 < 2% by weight
Our flagship product is Cetyl Alcohol, a saturated fatty alcohol that stands out in the world of personal care. This multipurpose ingredient is used in the manufacture of numerous products, from cleaners to fragrances, and behaves as a cohemulsifier and also as an active principle. It is obtained from vegetable oils such as coconut and palm, complying with rigorous quality and sustainability standards. It has prestigious certifications, such as Kosher, Halal, ISO 9001 and RSPO SCC, which guarantee a Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain.
Our Cetyl Alcohol is an essential ingredient in countless cosmetics, including moisturizers and hair conditioners. This wonderful active is also known as cetanol and palmityl alcohol, and has the fantastic ability to attract and retain moisture. It is appreciated for its ability to improve the texture of the skin and hair, providing softness and flexibility. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in the stabilization of emulsions. When used in combination with other emulsifiers, in concentrations as low as 0.5% to 1%, it significantly improves the stability of emulsions, while delivering its remarkable properties to the skin.
What is Cetyl Alcohol?
Cetyl Alcohol, also known by its INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) nomenclature as Cetyl Alcohol, is a fatty alcohol that is widely used in the cosmetic and personal care industry.
On a chemical level, Cetyl Alcohol is a saturated aliphatic alcohol with the chemical formula CH3(CH2)15OH. It belongs to the family of fatty alcohols, compounds with a hydrocarbon chain of variable length and an alcohol group (-OH) at one end. Specifically, Cetyl Alcohol has a chain of 16 carbon atoms, hence its classification as a long-chain fatty alcohol.
This ingredient is solid at room temperature, with a white pill or waxy appearance and a melting point in the range of 48 - 50°C. It is insoluble in water but soluble in oils and alcohols.
Originally, Cetyl Alcohol was obtained from whale wax. However, at present it is obtained mainly from vegetable oils such as coconut and palm oil, through a hydrogenation process. This is a chemical reaction in which hydrogen atoms are added to an organic molecule, in this case vegetable oil, to obtain the desired fatty alcohol.
In cosmetics, Cetyl Alcohol is used for its emollient, emulsifying, thickening and conditioning properties. As an emollient, it helps soften and smooth skin and hair. As an emulsifier, it helps to form and stabilize oil-in-water emulsions, essential in the formulation of many products such as creams and lotions. In addition, it can act as a thickener, providing consistency to formulations, and as a conditioner in hair products.
It is important to note that despite its name as "alcohol", Cetyl Alcohol does not behave like short-chain alcohols (such as ethanol or isopropanol), which can dry out the skin. On the contrary, it is skin-friendly and considered safe for use in personal care product.
Functions and properties of Cetyl Alcohol
Cetyl Alcohol is one of the most appreciated raw materials in the cosmetic industry. Its versatility and beneficial properties make it an essential ingredient in numerous products. Here we detail its main functions and properties:
- Emollient: Cetyl Alcohol has emollient properties, which means that it softens and smoothes the skin and hair. It forms an occlusive barrier on the surface, preventing water loss and providing long-lasting hydration.
- Emulsifier: This fatty alcohol is an effective emulsifier, which means that it helps mix water and oil to form an emulsion. This is a fundamental aspect in the formulation of products such as creams, since it allows the combination of hydrophilic and lipophilic ingredients in a single stable formula.
- Stabilizer: In addition to being an emulsifier, Cetyl Alcohol also acts as a stabilizer in emulsions. Helps maintain formula integrity, preventing component separation and increasing product shelf life.
- Thickener: Another use of Cetyl Alcohol is as a thickening agent. You can change the viscosity of products, giving them a richer and more luxurious texture.
- Conditioner: In hair products, such as conditioners and masks, Cetyl Alcohol works as a conditioner. Helps smooth hair, eases combing and reduces frizz.
- Fragrance and flavor release agents: In cosmetics and personal care products, Cetyl Alcohol can be used to release odors and flavors.
- Co-emulsifier: In combination with other emulsifiers, Cetyl Alcohol can enhance the efficiency and stability of the emulsion, improving the consistency and yield of the product.
How can Cetyl Alcohol benefit you?
For different skin types:
- Dry skin: Cetyl Alcohol retains moisture, providing hydration and softness to dry skin.
- Oily skin: Despite its oily nature, it is non-comedogenic and can help balance sebum levels in oily skin.
- Sensitive skin: Due to its softness, it is suitable for sensitive skin, helping to reduce irritation and inflammation.
- Mature skin: Helps to fill in expression lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a smoother and younger appearance.
For different types of hair:
- Dry hair: Provides hydration and softness to dry hair, helping to reduce frizz.
- Oily hair: Although it attracts moisture, it does not add fat, so it can help balance sebum levels in oily hair.
- Damaged hair: Helps soften and condition damaged hair, improving its appearance and texture.
- Color-treated hair: Helps protect color-treated hair by forming a barrier that prevents color loss.
Use of Cetyl Alcohol in personal care products
Cetyl Alcohol is an essential component in a wide range of personal care products, such as face and body creams, hair conditioners, lipsticks, and handmade soaps.
The recommended doses of Cetyl Alcohol vary depending on the use:
- As an emulsifier: 2 - 5% per 100 grams of product.
- As an emollient: 2 - 5% per 100 grams of product.
- As a water absorber: 5% per 100 grams of product.
- To give consistency: 2 - 10% per 100 grams of product.
Compatibility of Cetyl Alcohol with other emulsifiers and surfactants
Cetyl Alcohol combines well with a wide range of emulsifiers and surfactants, including:
1. Lecithin: This natural emulsifier facilitates rapid absorption of products into the skin or hair, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate more deeply.
2. Decyl Glucoside: This nonionic surfactant, derived from natural sources, is recognized for its safety and mildness profile. It is an effective cleaner and can also help form stable emulsions. It is frequently used in facial and body cleansing products.
3. Polysorbate 20: This emulsifier and surfactant is water soluble and helps solubilize essential oils and fragrances in water-based formulations. It is often used in skin care products, hair products, and perfumes.
Cetyl Alcohol is a versatile and valuable ingredient in natural cosmetics, providing a number of benefits for skin and hair. Its ability to hydrate, smooth and stabilize emulsions makes it an essential element in many personal care products. From "La Despensa del Jabón" we are proud to offer this high quality, safe and sustainable ingredient. Find out for yourself how Cetyl Alcohol can enhance your beauty routine!