Cetyl alcohol-the original fatty alcohol has been used in cosmetic skin care since it’s invention by 1817 by French chemist Michel Chevreul. Originally it was made from spermaceti (in head of) sperm whale treated with high heat and caustic potash / lye. Since the 1982 worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling, the oil reduction is more likely made from other whale oils (ie -bottlenose whale), an end- product of petroleum or coconut or palm oil. Whatever the original oil is, it gets l treated with lye (AKA caustic soda or sodium hydroxide), metallic sodium and alcohol, or lithium aluminum hydride.
WIKIPEDIA ON CETYL ALCOHOL Under Side Effects: “People who suffer from eczema can be sensitive to cetyl alcohol, though this may be due to impurities rather than cetyl alcohol itself.] Ironically, this ingredient is sometimes included in medications for the treatment of eczema.”
AKAs - 1-HEXADECANOL; CETANOL; HEXADECAN-1-OL; N-HEXADECYL ALCOHOL; PALMITYL ALCOHOL; ADOL; ADOL 52; ADOL 520; ADOL 54; ALCOHOL C-16; ATALCO C
Stearyl alcohol - stearic acid can be from shea nuts, or coconut oil, or animal fats – sometimes even whales.
AKAs: 1-OCTADECANOL; OCTADECAN-1-OL; ADOL 68; ALFOL 18; ATALCO S; CO-1895; CO-1897; CRODACOL-S; DECYL OCTYL ALCOHOL; DYTOL E-46; LOROL 28
cetearyl alcohol – combination of cetyl and stearyl alcohol, so can be derived from animal sources, petroleum or coconut or palm oil
AKAs : C16-18;DEHYQUARTD;LANETTE AOK;CETEARYL ALCOHOL;CETOSTEARYL ALCOHOL;CETYLSTEARYL ALCOHOL;CETOSTEARYLALCOHOL,NF;CETYL ALCOHOL - STEARYL ALCOHOL;C16-C18 n-Hexadecyl-stearyl alcohol (mixed)
Ceteareth-followed by a number that indicates the average number of ethylene oxide residues in the polyoxyethylene chain (numbers range from 2-100 all with their own AKAs) Made from mixture of Cetearyl Alcohol and Ethylene Oxide. According to the EPA, short-term and long term effects of ethylene oxide on humans are primarily on the central nervous system, depression, irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes. Some human cancer data show an increase in the incidence of leukemia, stomach cancer, cancer of the pancreas, and Hodgkin's disease in workers exposed to ethylene oxide, but that data’s considered inconclusive due to questions about the studies. The fact remains that the EPA has classified ethylene oxide as a Group B1, probable human carcinogen. That makes Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) recommendation that consumers stay away from all "ceteareths" on the grounds it they can contaminate a product with carcinogens completely understandable.
Ceteareth-20 demonstrates how divided views on one ingredient can be. The cosmetic industry considers Ceteareth-20 to be so safe that it’s one of the most common emollients and emulsifier used in cosmetics, hair dyes, facial moisturizers, anti-aging treatments, hair conditioners, sunscreens, exfoliant/scrubs, depilatory creams and acne treatments. It's usually in products with other alcohols and fatty acids, used to help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent, and emulsify oil in water emulsions.
Oleyl Alcohol – reduction of oleic acid usually from beef fat (usually inedible tallow), possibly fish oil (not high in this fatty acid)
AKAs: (Z) -OCTADEC-9-ENOL; 9-OCTADECEN-1-OL; 9-OCTADECEN-1-OL, (9Z) -; 9OCTADECEN1OL, (Z) ; CIS-9-OCTADECENYL ALCOHOL; HYDROXYOCTADEC-9-ENE; OLEIC ALCOHOL; 9-OCTADECEN-1-OL, CIS-; ADOL 320; ADOL 330; ADOL 34//
arachidyl alcohol : reduction of arachidic acid from peanut oil or cocoa butter
AKAs: 1-EICOSANOL; 1EICOSANOL; ARACHIC ALCOHOL; ARACHIDIC ALCOHOL; ARACHYL ALCOHOL; EICOSYL ALCOHOL; ICOSAN-1-OL
Behenyl alcohol: reduction of behenic acid; number of different plant sources –rapeseed (canola) is a decent source of behenic acid; some plants aren’t cost effective sources-example 1 ton of peanut skins yields 38 pounds of behenic acid
AKAS : 1-DOCOSANOL; 1DOCOSANOL; DOCOSAN-1-OL; LIDAVOL; N-DOCOSANOL
Lauryl Alcohol: reduction of lauric acid derived from coconut, palm seed, or Laurel (bay) oil
AKAs: 1-Dodecanol, 1-hydroxydodecane, didecyl alcohol, dodecan-1-ol, alcohol c-12, alfol 12,
cachalot l-50,cachalot l-90, co 12; co-1214,co-1214n,co-1214s
Myristyl alcohol: reduction of myristic acid which can be extractedfrom animal fats, coconut oil or other plant sources.
AKAs - 1-hydroxytetradecane, 1-tetradecanol, tetradecanol, tetradecyl alcohol, dytol r-52,
lanette wax ks, loxanol v, myristic alcohol, myristyl alcohol (mixed isomers), n-tetradecanol-1,
Octyldodecanol : derived from coconut
AKAs : 1-dodecanol, 2-octyl-; 1dodecanol, 2octyl; 2-octyl dodecanol; 2-octyl- 1-dodecanol;
2-octyldodecan-1-ol; 2-octyldodecanol; 2-octyldodecyl alcohol; 2-octyldodecanol;
2-octyldodecyl alcohol; eutanol g; exxal 20