Fatty Alcohols in Skin Care Products

Finding the best skin care products for your Baumann Skin Type is easy- just take the quiz.  

We will give you specific recommendations about what skin care products are best for you.  You can see if fatty alcohols make sense for your skin type.

Are Fatty Alcohols in Skin Care Products  Bad for You?

No- they have smoothing benefits for your skin. There is a lot of confusion about fatty alcohols vs alcohols in cosmeceuticals.

Fatty alcohols are not the same as simple alcohol.  Fatty alcohols are also called long chain alcohols.  They have an even number of carbon atoms and have one alcohol group (-OH) attached to the last carbon of the chain. This structure allows the fatty alcohol to trap water, smooth and hydrate skin.

What are Fatty Alcohols made from?

Fatty alcohols are made from fatty acids. These are usually sourced from plants but may be animal derived. Jojoba oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax have a large amount of fatty alcohols.  The most commonly used oils to may fatty alcohols are: coconut, and palm oil. Corn, canola, rapeseed, and soybean oil can also be used. Lanolin alcohol is animal derived.


Are Fatty Alcohols Vegan, Clean and Organic?

There are vegan, clean, organic and natural forms of fatty alcohols. However, they are not all vegan and organic.


Why are Fatty Alcohols in Skin Care products?

Fatty alcohols are added to skin care products as an emulsifier, emollient, and thickener.  They make cosmetic products feel smooth on the skin and gives them a nice cosmetically elegant feel when they are applied.


List of Fatty Alcohols in Skin Care Products


Behenyl alcohol – Plant based saturated fatty alcohol. Can be vegan.  It is usually made from vegetable oils but can also be laboratory made. Rated 1 by EWG.

Cetearyl alcohol- A mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It can be vegan and come from lants like coconut oil or palm oil. However, there are laboratory made and animal derived versions too.

Cetyl alcohol- Comes from coconut oil and palm oil.

Cetyl Esters Wax- Made from coconut oil and palm oil

Decyl Alcohol- From vegetable oil


Isostearyl alcohol

Lauryl alcohol- From vegetable oil

Myristy alcohol


Polyglyceryl- 3 Stearate

Stearoyl Lactylate-

Stearyl alcohol- Can be animal derived but is usually from vegetable oil

Are fatty alcohols good for YOUR skin?  The only way to know is to learn your Baumann Skin Type and read more about what products are best for YOUR skin type.

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