Cetyl Ethylhexanoate



Cetyl Ethylhexanoate at a glance

  • Ester of cetyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid
  • Emollient that helps skin retain moisture
  • Enhances texture of formulas
  • Deemed as safe for use in cosmetics

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate description

Cetyl ethylhexanoate is an emollient skin care ingredient that helps skin retain moisture. It’s an ester of cetyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid, appearing as a colorless liquid as a raw material. Beyond this, it’s insoluble in water. In addition to its skin conditioning properties, cetyl ethylhexanoate helps to thicken products and enhance texture, lending a velvety finish. It’s often used in lipsticks and rinse-off products. In cosmetics, it can be found in percentages of anywhere from 0.5 to 77.3%. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed it safe for use in cosmetics when properly formulated to not irritate skin. This ingredient may be animal- or plant-derived or synthetic. Paula’s Choice uses the synthetic or plant-derived sources.

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate references

  • Engineering in Life Sciences, March 2019, pages 370-388
  • International Journal of Toxicology, Nov-Dec 2015, pages 61S-73S

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