Stearyl Alcohol


Texture enhancer

No known benefits

Stearyl Alcohol at a glance

  • Fatty alcohol used as a moisturiser and cleansing agent
  • Ruled safe as a food additive and as used in cosmetics
  • Is a white, waxy substance in its raw form
  • Also known as 1-octadecanol

Stearyl Alcohol description

Stearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol used as an emollient and to help keep other ingredients intact in a formulation. It is not to be confused with the drying, irritating types of alcohol such as SD alcohol or denatured alcohol. This versatile ingredient also has cleansing and foam-boosting properties and isn’t considered drying on skin. Stearyl alcohol is also known as 1-octadecanol, and in its raw form is a white, waxy substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled stearyl alcohol safe as a food additive, and the independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel deems it safe as used in cosmetics.

Stearyl Alcohol references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, September-October 2012, pages 141S-6S
  • Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea, 2009, Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 103-110
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2005, Volume 27, Issue 1, page 36

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.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

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