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Stearyl Alcohol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 22, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Stearyl alcohol, C18H38O, is a compound produced from stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid. Stearyl alcohol is found naturally in various mammalian tissues. It is used in the biosynthesis of lipids and other naturally occurring cellular constituents and enters metabolic pathways for energy production. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries stearyl alcohol can be used as an emulsion stabilizer, fragrance ingredient, surfactant/emulsifying agent, foam booster, and as a viscosity increasing agent. It is found as an ingredient of hydrophilic ointments and petrolatums, and is also used in the preparation of creams. Stearyl alcohol appears to be poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.[1]

List of medications using Stearyl Alcohol


  1. PubChem. 1-Octadeconal. Accessed February 15, 2015 at

Further information

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