What it is
Cetyl Alcohol, one of the components of Cetearyl Alcohol, is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in plants and animals but can also be made synthetically.
What it does
Cetyl Alcohol is an emollient that makes skin soft and smooth.
Cetyl Alcohol is also thickener agent. It gives body to a product and increases or stabilizes foaming capacity. It is used in conditioners to make them rich and creamy and it also helps lift sebum off hair.
In addition, it is an emulsifier: it keeps the oils and water in a product from separating.
Cetyl Alcohol is generally considered to be safe.