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Cetostearyl Alcohol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 25, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Cetostearyl Alcohol (CH3(CH2)nOH) is a mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols that can come from vegetable or synthetic sources. It is classified as a fatty alcohol. Cetostearyl alcohol is a white, waxy, solid material in the form of flakes. It is oil soluble, but it is not water-soluble. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, cetostearyl alcohol functions as an emulsion stabilizer; opacifying agent; surfactant - foam booster; and viscosity increasing agent. It is often used in creams and lotions. It has a melting point of 122°F (50°C) and a boiling point: 480.2°F (249°C).[1]

List of medications using Cetostearyl Alcohol


  1. [1]Enviromental Working Group. Cetearyl alcohol. Accessed March 27, 2014 at

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.