What Is It?
Cetearyl Alcohols are a large class of important cosmetic ingredients but only ethanol needs to be denatured to prevent it from being redirected from cosmetic applications to alcoholic beverages., Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol are white, waxy solids. Isostearyl Alcohol is a clear liquid. Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol are the two major components of Cetearyl Alcohol. These ingredients are all fatty alcohols and that are widely used in cosmetics and personal care products, especially in skin lotions and creams.
Why Is It Used?
Cetearyl Alcohol and the other fatty alcohols keep an A mixture of two liquids that normally cannot be mixed, in which one liquid is dispersed in the other liquid as very fine droplets. Emulsifying agents are often used to help form the emulsion and stabilizing agents are used to keep the resulting emulsion from separating. The most common emulsions are oil-in-water emulsions (where oil droplets are dispersed in water) and water-in-oil emulsions (where water droplets are dispersed in oil). from separating into its oil and liquid components. These ingredients are also used to alter the thickness of liquid products and to increase foaming capacity or to stabilize foams.
Cetearyl, Cetyl, Myristyl and Behenyl Alcohols are straight-chain alcohols. Isostearyl Alcohol is a branched chain alcohol. Cetearyl Alcohol is a mixture of mostly of Cetyl and Stearyl Alcohols, which are fatty alcohols that occur naturally in small quantities in plants and animals.
Myristyl Alcohol is a 14 carbon chain. Cetyl Alcohol has 16 carbons, while Stearyl and Isostearyl Alcohols have 18 carbons. Behenyl Alcohol is the largest fatty alcohol in this group with 22 carbons.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes synthetic fatty alcohols including Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol and Myristyl Alcohol on its list of food additives permitted for direct addition to food as multipurpose food additives. Synthetic fatty alcohols are also permited as indirect food additives as adjuvants and production aids.
The safety of Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that these fatty alcohols were safe for use as cosmetic ingredients.
In 2005, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Cetearyl Alcohol and the other fatty alcohols and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that much is known about the biological activities of fatty acids and long-chain aliphatic alcohols and esters.
The toxicological data for the five long-chain aliphatic alcohols included in this report (Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol) revealed no significant toxicity. For example, Cetyl Alcohol was not mutagenic. Formulations containing these fatty alcohols were not dermal irritants or sensitizers. Assuming that the five ingredients are of the same grade of purity, the similar chemical structure permits extrapolation of data for one of the alcohols to the remaining four alcohols. Thus, the CIR Expert Panel considered it reasonable to assume that the fatty alcohols reviewed in this report have equivalent biological activity.
FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for synthetic fatty alcohols including Cety, Stearyl and Myristyl Alcohols
If they are derived from plants, Cetearyl, Cetyl, Isostearyl, Myristyl and Behenyl Alcohols may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Ingredients of animal origin must comply with European Union animal by-products regulations.
More Scientific Information
Cetearyl, Cetyl, Isostearyl, Myristyl and Behenyl alcohols are fatty alcohols. They are produced from natural fats and oils by reduction of the A natural organic compound that consists of a carboxyl group (oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) attached to a chain of carbon atoms with their associated hydrogen atoms. The chain of carbon atoms may be connected with single bonds, making a ‘saturated’ fat; or it may contain some double bonds, making an ‘unsaturated’ fat. The number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in the chain is what determines the qualities of that particular fatty acid. Animal and vegetable fats are made up of various combinations of fatty acids (in sets of three) connected to a glycerol molecule, making them triglycerides. carboxyl group (-COOH) to the hydroxyl (-OH) function. Alternately, several completely synthetic routes yield fatty alcohols which may be structurally identical or similar to the naturally-derived alcohols.
Fatty alcohols generally are primary alcohols conforming to the structure RCH2OH; where the R group varies with each individual alcohol. Those fatty alcohols prepared from naturally occurring fatty acids normally contain an even number of carbon atoms. Fatty alcohols are used as emollients in numerous types of cosmetics. They are valuable as co-emulsifiers and are employed to increase the viscosity of emulsions, shampoos and other products.