Plant derived skin conditioning agent with preservative properties. Because of its unique binding and emollient action, cetyl alcohol is a great binder for moisturizing. Why? Water and oil do not mix, so moisturizers containing a fat such as cetyl alcohol lock moisture into the skin and form a protective barrier that water can’t penetrate, preventing dry and parched skin. In addition to the unique barrier benefit of cetyl alcohol, it is often added as an ingredient to moisturizers to alter the consistency of liquid products or to increase foaming capacity.
Overall, cetyl alcohol is a very popular ingredient used in cosmetic and skincare products. In 2005, the FDA reassessed the safety of cetyl alcohol for topical use and reaffirmed that the fatty oil was indeed safe.