What is STEARYL ALCOHOL and why is it used in skincare products?

They are a cross between alcohols and fatty acids or oils, making them a highly adaptable skincare ingredient.

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Did you know that fatty alcohols that provide cleansers and creams stability and a smooth texture are Stearyl Alcohols? Do you know what is it and why is it used in skincare? Well, guess what? We got you covered!

What is Stearyl Alcohol?

Stearyl alcohol is a chemical substance that is categorised as fatty alcohol. It is also known as octadecyl alcohol or 1-octadecanol. They are a cross between alcohols and fatty acids or oils, making them a highly adaptable skincare ingredient. They are utilised as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickening in a number of cosmetics and personal care products.
Stearyl alcohol is produced through the catalytic hydrogenation method, which involves adding hydrogen atoms to a molecule while utilising a metal catalyst, from stearic acid, a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid. White granules or flakes make up stearyl alcohol. These white flakes or grains cannot dissolve in water.

Why is it used in skincare products?

Alcohol is seldom promoted as a skincare ingredient hero, unlike retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids, which is strange given how common alcohol is in cosmetic products. There are many various types of alcohol used in the formulation of topical products, and some of them can be quite drying and stripping. These alcohols should actually be avoided as much as possible because they are what give the substance its negative reputation in skincare. As fatty alcohol, however, stearyl alcohol is not drying, is non-irritating, and is generally advantageous when taken regularly since it functions as an emollient, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth by establishing a protective layer on the surface and assisting in moisture retention.