Stearyl Alcohol

What is it?

Stearyl alcohol is a vegetable derived long-chain fatty alcohol. It is commonly found in a wide variety of skin care and cosmetic products.

What does it do?

Stearyl alcohol has emollient properties and also can function as an emulsifier and thickener in products. In stick products, such as deodorants and antiperspirants, it helps to emulsify the active ingredient and fragrance into the wax base. It also helps to modify the physical texture of the stick’s waxy base.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Stearyl alcohol is derived from coconut and palm kernel oils. The oils are converted to alcohol, distilled and hydrogenated into stearyl alcohol.

What are the alternatives?

Other materials that can be used for this purpose in the product include synthetic waxes, petroleum waxes, silicones and other modified oils. These types of materials would not meet our Stewardship Model.

Is this the right option for me?

Stearyl alcohol has a long history of safe use in personal care products.

Is this the right option for me?

Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.