Potassium Cetyl Phosphate


Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate at a glance

  • Used as a cleansing agent and emulsifier
  • Is a white or beige powder in its raw form
  • Highest concentration used in cosmetics is 8.3%
  • Deemed safe as used in cosmetics

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate description

Potassium cetyl phosphate is used as a cleansing agent and emulsifier in skin care products. It is highly valued for its versatility as a gentle stabilizing emulsifier in sunscreen formulations. It is the potassium salt of a mixture of esters of phosphoric acid and cetyl alcohol, a non-irritating fatty alcohol. In its raw form, it is a white or beige powder. The highest reported concentration of potassium cetyl phosphate in cosmetics is 8.3%, an amount used in mascaras. The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel has ruled potassium cetyl phosphate is safe as used in cosmetics.

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2019, pages 12S-32S
  • https://thedermreview.com/potassium-cetyl-phosphate/
  • https://cosmetics.specialchem.com/inci/potassium-cetyl-phosphate

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.