What it is
Cetearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol that can be derived synthetically or from coconut oil.
What it does
Cetearyl Alcohol is an emollient: it makes skin soft and smooth.
It is also used as an emulsifier to prevent the oil and liquid parts of a product from separating, and as a thickener, to change the consistency of liquid products.
Cetearyl Alcohol is generally considered to be safe.