Cetearyl Alcohol

What It Does

Cetearyl alcohol is a pre-made 50:50 blend of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, which are fatty alcohols that give creams and lotions their thickness and texture. The more cetearyl alcohol used, the thicker or creamier the product. Cetearyl alcohol also helps stabilize emulsions.

What is Mass Balance?

Cetearyl alcohol almost always comes from palm oil, as it is nearly impossible to source cetearyl alcohol from other plants. There is no producer that will guarantee cetearyl alcohol comes from non-palm sources. It is also difficult to make emulsions without cetearyl or cetyl/stearyl alcohol. Therefore, it is critical to use cetearyl alcohol from Mass Balance palm certified sources as a step towards sustainable palm use.

How It's Made

Palm oil undergoes a chemical reaction to release free fatty acids like palmitic acid and stearic acid. This mixture is distilled to separate palmitic acid and stearic acids, where they are converted to cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. Cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are weighed out in equal portions and melted together to become cetearyl alcohol. The product is then cooled into pastilles (beads) for easy use.

Nut Free
Nut Free
Gluten Free
Gluten Free
Mass Balance Palm
Mass Balance Palm
People and Planet
People and Planet
Cetearyl Alcohol

People and Planet

NaTrue Approved
Mass Balance Certified Palm Oil
Readily Biodegradable

Geographical Origin

Cultivated in Indonesia
Processed in United States

Ingredient Origin

Plant (Coconut and Palm Kernel)


Thickener, Stability Enhancer

Types of Formulas

Lotions, Creams, Balms, Butters

Use Level

0 - 10%

Color / Odor / Appearance

White / Characteristic / Waxy Pellet



Melting Point

120ºF - 133ºF


Store in closed container in a dark, cool place.

Shelf Life

See retest date on Certificate of Analysis.


For external use only. Keep out of reach of children.

Regulatory Documents

Why It's Special

Cetearyl Alcohol Mass Balance ensures transparency and responsibility in sourcing palm-based ingredients. We are the only company investing in 50:50 Cetearyl Alcohol for home formulators.

Quality. Transparency. Trust.

Palm kernel oil undergoes transesterification to liberate free fatty acids.


This mixture is distilled to separate palmitic acid and stearic acids from the rest of the mixture.


Palmitic and stearic acids are converted to cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol.


Cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are melted and combined in equal parts to make cetearyl alcohol.


The molten mixture is formed into pastilles for ease of use.

Natural Deodorant Stick

Enjoy the soft glide of this natural deodorant stick! Cetearyl Alcohol MB and Sustainable African Beeswax help thicken our moisturizing Organic Jojoba Oil and Squalane. Baking Soda and Arrowroot Powder help keep your underarms feeling fresh.

print recipe

Double boiler
2oz Wax-lined paper tubes

Skill Level: Medium

Makes 50 grams or nearly 2 ounces.

1 Squalane 19.5%  9.75 g
2 Organic Jojoba Oil 5.0%  2.5 g
3 Organic Shea Butter 8.0%  4.0 g
4 Fair Trade Cocoa Butter 10.0%  5.0 g
5 Cetearyl Alcohol MB 17.0%  8.5 g
6 Sustainable African Beeswax 3.0%  1.5 g
7 Baking Soda (Arm & Hammer) 4.0%  2.0 g
8 Arrowroot Powder (Bob's Red Mill) 32.0%  16.0 g
9 Lavender Essential Oil 0.5% 0.25 g
10 Lemon Essential Oil 1.0%  0.5 g
TOTAL 100%  50.0 g

Prepare a double boiler with water in the bottom pan and add ingredients 1-7 to the top pan. Begin heating the mixture to 175ºF with light stirring. Keep the temperature at 175ºF for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.

After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and begin cooling naturally. At 110ºF, add 9 and 10. Continue to stir gently.

Set up a tray with the paper tubes on it. Continue stirring while pouring mixture into paper tubes to avoid settling of baking soda and arrowroot powder to the bottom. Transfer the paper tubes immediately to the refrigerator to cool before capping.

INGREDIENTS: Arrowroot Powder, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

This recipe is only a representative formulation to serve as an example of how these ingredients can be used. It is not a commercial product. Please conduct own testing as this formulation has not been subjected to testing for either performance, efficacy or safety.

Before handling ingredients, read all product information and safety data sheets for the ingredients to understand any handling instructions, safety precautions, and disposal instructions.