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What is Ceteareth and is it bad for human health?

Ceteareth performs well as an emulsifier and an emollient. Ceteareth has a numerical value at the end, the most common being ceteareth-20. This number is often used in hair dyes, anti-aging treatment, cleanser, exfoliant, sunscreen, and conditioner.

Why is Ceteareth bad?

The use of ceteareth may have a damaging effect on a user’s health as it may affect some organs. 

Ceteareth can cause Kidney damage 

When ceteareth is used on damaged skin, it may affect the kidneys. This relationship was found by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel in a study. 

Ceteareth can include carcinogenic compounds 

Ceteareth may contribute to breast cancer. Ceteareth contains the impurity 1,4-dioxane which is a carcinogenic compound. Ceteareth not contaminated with dioxane is probably safe to use in low concentrations but there isn’t any way to be sure. The safest bet is to avoid using it altogether.

Many studies have shown that Ceteareth has a moderate to severe health effects on your immune system. The carcinogenic chemical gradually destroys your immune system which makes you prone to cancer.

How does Ceteareth end up in a product

Ceteareth is added to products directly by the manufacturers so that oil and liquid can blend together. This process is called an emulsion. Ceteareth is also an emollient. The combination of an emollient and emulsifier in one ingredient makes for a good choice for a manufacturer.

Where is Ceteareth found

Ceteareth is primarily found in cosmetic products. They are used in hair dyes, hair creams, conditioners, anti-aging treatments, conditioners, lotions, facials, and others.

How can you recognize it

Ceteareth has a long list of compounds, with the numerical value denoted by “n” which is used to represent the specific compound. But the most used ceteareth compound is ceteareth- 20. The INCI name is Ceteareth -20 (CAS # 68439-49-6). So, the next time you are looking to buy a hair or skin product, avoid products that have ceteareth -20 on their labels. 

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