Structural formula of cetyl alcohol


What is it?

“An aquatic animal is an animal, either vertebrate or invertebrate, which lives in the water for most or all of its lifetime.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

This group of ingredients are mostly derived from aquatic animals but some of them can also be vegan. Keep reading to see which ones we have included. 


Also known as whale vomit. Produced in the intestines of whales to protect them from sharp objects. The ambergris is most often found after it has been excreted or vomited out from the whale.

It is used as a very exclusive ingredient in perfumes. Fresh ambergris smells fecal while dried, cured, it takes on a musky scent.

Cetyl Alcohol

A substance that is obtained from dolphins or sperm whale oil if it is of animal origin. But cetyl alcohol can also be vegan, and then usually derived from petroleum or palm oil.

It is used as a thickening agent, emulsifier (mixes non-miscible liquids) and opacifier (reduces transparency) in cosmetics.


Derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans (ex crabs, lobsters and crayfish)

Chitosan has widespread use; agriculture, winemaking, medicines, diet products, and cosmetics*.

Fish scales (guanine, natural pearl essence)

A lustrous and translucent substance obtained from fish scales.

First used in nail polishes in the 1920s, but can also be find in all other kinds of cosmetics. The fish scales create lustre and shimmer, in for example lipsticks, eye shadows, and foundations.

Marine oil (Also called: Fish oil, cod liver oil)  

Oil extracted from all kinds of aquatic animals, including, whales, fishes and porpoises

Marine is used in everything from paints, food and cosmetics such as soaps.

Shark liver oil (Squalene)

Oil primarily from shark livers, but can also be obtained from plant sources.

Can be found in cosmetics such as hair dyes and creams.


A waxy substance found in the heads of sperm whales. Can also be made synthetic or from plant sources.

Spermaceti can be used to increase thickness of creams and lotions. But it is also found in other cosmetics such as lipsticks, shampoos and deodorants.


A sister group of animals, similar to animals in some sense, they have for example sperm cells but lack tissues and organs.

They can be used as bath sponges, menstrual sponges, or to extract biologically active compounds.

Turtle oil (Sea Turtle Oil)

Oil extracted from muscles and genitals from sea turtles

Found in cosmetics such as skin creams, nail creams, and soaps.

How is it used?

See above.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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