Cetyl Alcohol is chemically categorized as an alcohol, but it is not in the form of traditional liquid types of alcohol which tend to dehydrate the skin. The image below is the Cetyl Alcohol used by our lab.  It is used in cream emulsions to add the white body of a cream and gives the final product a stable viscosity. It does not dry the skin, but provides part of the structural emulsion chassis from which effective skin care actives and moisturizers are integrated.