Why You Should Work With a Fatty Alcohol Supplier in the Philippines for Your Production Needs


Is alcohol in personal care products really bad for you? This controversial ingredient has been present in a wide range of items, including detergents, cosmetics, and skincare products. Despite myths that alcohol speeds up aging and creates inflammation, this is not actually the case.

Products marketed to be alcohol-free are specifically referring to ethyl alcohol. Based on an article by the US Food and Drugs Administration, if companies use the term alcohol-free, it means that the product may still contain other alcohols safe for consumers. There are different types of alcohol explicitly used for personal care products, and fatty alcohol is one of them.

Fatty alcohols have been present in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic products due to their emollient and hydrating features. If you’re thinking of trying out this ingredient for your business, contact us at Wills International Sales Corporation. We’re a trustworthy fatty alcohol supplier in the Philippines that will gladly provide you with the products you need.

What Is Fatty Alcohol?

Fatty alcohol is a generic term used for a wide range of aliphatic hydrocarbons, which contain a hydroxyl group usually in the terminal position. This ingredient is naturally derived from plant or animal oils and fats. The short-chain alcohols are oily and colorless, while the longer ones are in solid form with a waxy exterior.

Aside from that, fatty alcohol can come together with many other compounds with systematic and trivial names, based on the alkyl chain length and the root found between aliphatic hydrocarbons and fatty acids.

Fatty Alcohol vs. Fatty Acid

Although these terms are often interchanged, they are both different in how they are made and used in products.

Fatty alcohols are derived from fatty acids, which yield normal-chain alcohols attached to the terminal carbon. Because of their amphipathic nature, they act as non-ionic surfactants in cosmetic formulations, as well as emulsifiers, thickeners, and emollients.

On the other hand, fatty acids are organic acids comprised of carbon chains with carboxyl groups located at the end. There are two types of fatty acids on the market: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated ones have carbons with a full quota of hydrogens, while their unsaturated counterpart contains one or more double bonds in the molecule.

Similar to any other carboxylic acid, fatty acids have the same esterification and acid-base reactions. When they undergo hydrogenation, the vegetable oils are converted into their solid form.

Where Are Fatty Alcohols Sourced From?

Fatty alcohols can be derived from two sources, which are the following:

Natural Sources

The natural sources of fatty alcohols have mostly been vegetable oils, which solely remain as large-scale feedstock. Most fatty alcohols are found in nature as waxes under the refining process, eliminating aliphatic alcohols.

Although animal fats can provide fatty alcohols, plant sources produce a more comprehensive range of alcohols, making them the preferred source of fatty alcohols. Once they’re obtained from triglycerides, they form the bulk of the oil, leading to the esterification of triglycerides.

Petrochemical Sources

You can also derive fatty alcohols from petrochemical sources by using the Ziegler process. According to Karl Ziegler, the process involves oligomerizing ethylene using triethylaluminium, followed by air oxidation, which will lead to the creation of even-numbered alcohols. However, for odd-numbered aldehydes, you need to oligomerize ethylene for alkene mixtures and hydrogenate it subsequently.

Types of Fatty Alcohols in the Philippines

There are many types of fatty alcohols that you can choose from, and each of them is categorized into four divisions, namely:

Normal Chain Alcohols

This type of fatty alcohol can either be fully saturated or unsaturated, with double and triple bonds. You can also substitute it with chlorine, bromine, or other ingredients belonging to sulfate groups.

There are four types of normal-chain alcohols, which are:

  • Saturated Alcohols

Among the most common saturated alcohols found in products are:

    • Lauryl Alcohol – An organic compound derived from palm kernel oil or coconut oil.
    • Myristyl Alcohol – This can be used as an emollient in various cosmetic and skincare products.
    • Cetyl Alcohol – This fatty alcohol is derived from whale oil, which was first isolated. When left at room temperature, this can take the form of a solid white wax or flakes.
    • Stearyl Alcohol – Similar to cetyl alcohol, it has the appearance of white granules or flakes. However, this fatty alcohol is not soluble in water and has many applications, including lubricants, resins, fragrances, and cosmetics.


These fatty alcohols are not commonly found in the lipids of insects, although there have been reports of honeybees containing a molecular weight of this ingredient. In addition, honeybees produce 17 to 22 carbons of fatty alcohols, inducing arrestment in parasitic varroa mites.

Various saturated fatty alcohols have also been found in waxy films which plants have over their leaves and fruits. One of them is policosanol, a natural mixture of higher aliphatic alcohols isolated and purified from sugar cane. This can also be extracted from other natural sources, including beeswax, rice bran, and wheat germ.

There’s also a complex policosanol mixture that has been identified in peanuts, with a total of 11 to 54 mg of oil found from the content of the whole peanut samples.

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