What is it?
Ceteareths (Ceteareth-2, Ceteareth-3, Ceteareth-4, Ceteareth-5, Ceteareth-6, Ceteareth-7, Ceteareth-8, Ceteareth-9, Ceteareth-10, Ceteareth-11, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-13, Ceteareth-14, Ceteareth-15, Ceteareth-16, Ceteareth-17, Ceteareth-18, Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-22, Ceteareth-23, Ceteareth-24, Ceteareth-25, Ceteareth-27, Ceteareth-28, Ceteareth-29, Ceteareth-30, Ceteareth-33, Ceteareth-34, Ceteareth-40, Ceteareth-50, Ceteareth-55, Ceteareth-60, Ceteareth-80, Ceteareth-100) are liquids to waxy solids. In cosmetics and personal care products, Ceteareth ingredients are used in skin care products, moisturizers, hair conditioners, suntan and indoor tanning products and hair dyes, colors, and tints.
The safety of the Ceteareth ingredientss has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Ceteareth-2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -15, -16, -17, -18, -20, -22, -23, -24, -25, -27, -28, -29, -30, -33, -34, -40, -50, -55, -60, -80 and -100 were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. Ceteareth ingredients should not be used on damaged skin.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Ceteareth-2 to -18, and Ceteareth-22, help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. Ceteareth-22 is also used to decrease the thickness of liquid cosmetics and personal care products. Ceteareth-20 to -40 help other ingredients to dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve, and along with Ceteareths-50 to -100, clean the skin and hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that these substances can be rinsed away.
Ceteareths are made from cetearyl alcohol, which is a mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohol, and ethylene oxide. The numerical value represents the average number of molecules of ethylene oxide added to generate the specific Ceteareth ingredient. For example, Ceteareth-2 is made by reacting Cetearyl Alcohol with an average of 2 molecules of ethylene oxide.