Talk:Cetyl alcohol

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Untitled[edit]

Maybe a silly question but, if it is part of the 'alcohol' family, wouldn't using cream that contains cetyl alcohol dry your skin out?

- Rachel Ayres 00:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

CA is actually a fairly good moisturiser. Its a long chain (16 carbons) fatty alcohol, the same length as often found in olive oil, almond oil, etc. Most people understand "alcohol" in its familiar form, liquid ethanol (2 carbons) (the kind in spirits) or isopropanol (3 carbons, rubbing alcohol) which are small (i.e. short chain), volatile and dry the skin. The more carbons, the less volatile/drying. To a chemist, "alcohol" is a broad reference - meaning simply anything with an -OH group. István 03:53, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

So, saccharides belong to the 'alcohol' family? or are glycerol and the likes saccharides? 83.252.20.78 19:35, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Not exactly. When a chemist talks about an alcohol, they're typically referring to something that is limited in functionality to a hydroxyl group e.g. methanol, ethanol, cetyl alcohol. While this can include polyfunctional alcohols, like glycerol, what you're referring to are really sugar alcohols - modified carbohydrates. Saccharide is really just a synonym for sugar. Hope this helps. dil 12:23, 14 May 2007 (UTC)