* A fatty alcohol. * Ceteareths are made from cetearyl alcohol- a blend of cetyl and stearyl alcohol (natural fatty acids from coconut oil), and ethylene oxide. The numerical value - for example cetearerth-33 - represents the average number of molecules of ethylene oxide added.
Ceteareth-20 functions as an emollient and emulsifier. It's usually used in conjunction with other alcohols and fatty acids, working to thicken a solution and help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent. It also functions as a nonionic stabilizer in oil in water emulsions. This ingredient is one of the most common emollients used in cosmetics, and you can find it in products such as hair dye, facial moisturizer, anti-aging treatment, conditioner, cleanser, sunscreen, exfoliant/scrub, depilatory cream and acne treatment.