Ceteth-20 Phosphate


Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

Ceteth-20 Phosphate at a glance

  • Mild cleansing agent made from derivatives of phosphoric acid and cetyl alcohol
  • Helps control the viscosity of liquid emulsions
  • Also used with emollients to thicken and help stabilize creams
  • May be animal- or plant-derived or synthetic

Ceteth-20 Phosphate description

Ceteth-20 phosphate is a mild cleansing agent made from chemically combining derivatives of phosphoric acid and the gentle fatty alcohol cetyl alcohol. It’s most often blended with emulsifiers to help create and maintain the stability of liquid emulsions. On the other hand, ceteth-20 phosphate may also be combined with thicker emulsifiers and emollients to control the viscosity and improve the stability of cream formulas. Blends that contain this ingredient are typically advised for use between 2–4% concentrations. Ceteth-20 phosphate may be animal or plant-derived or also made synthetically. Paula’s Choice Skincare uses the plant-derived form.

Ceteth-20 Phosphate references

  • International Journal of Pharmaceutics, August 2014, pages 69–74; and August 2011, pages 301–306

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated