The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 68439-49-6
Chem/IUPAC Name: C16-18 alcohols, ethoxylated (20 mol EO average molar ratio)
COSING REF No: 75105
Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifying agent that is found in a range of skin care and hair care products. Its special properties help to keep skin and hair smooth, soft, and supple. Ceteareth-20 appears white in color and is an odorless compound that attracts both oil and water, thus keeping the formulations together and stabilizing them. Additionally, it works well with almost all the other ingredients and is safe for all skin types.

What is CETEARETH-20 used for?

Ceteareth-20 can be found in the ingredient list of many personal care and cosmetic products. The reason for this is the broad range of benefits that this ingredient offers.
  • Skin care: It is a great emollient that works on the skin to make it smoother and softer. It also stabilizes the formulations by helping to bind together water-based and oil-based ingredients
  • Hair care: In hair care products, it is responsible for providing moisture to the scalp and keeping it well hydrated. In turn, the hair grows shinier and healthier, while the scalp is free from itchiness. Ceteareth-20 also provides the required thickness to hair
  • Cosmetic products: It is used to provide texture and improve the look of the products. It is an excellent surfactant that lowers the surface tension of the formulations and helps stabilize them


Ceteareth-20 is a non-ionic compound that is made by reacting Cetearyl alcohol with twenty molecules of ethylene oxide. The number written along with this compound actually represents the number of ethylene oxide molecules that are added when making it. Ceteareth-20 is a synthetic compound that is made in the labs and the process is known as ethoxylation.

What does CETEARETH-20 do in a formulation?

  • Cleansing
  • Emollient
  • Emulsifying
  • Surfactant

Safety profile

Ceteareth-20 is safe for skin and hair but should not be used on damaged surfaces. If the skin or hair has been compromised in any way, it may react to cause redness and itching. Moreover, it can also be comedogenic for certain skin types. A patch test is recommended prior to full usage. The recommended use percent for Ceteareth-20 is 0-6%, and should not exceed 30% in any case.

Technical profile

Property Values
Melting Point 40-46°C
pH 5.5-7.5
Solubility Soluble in water

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely CETEARETH-20

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