Polysorbates are a class of emulsifiers used in pharmaceuticals and food preparation. They are often used in cosmetics to solubilise essential oils and fragrance oils into water-based products. Polysorbate 80 (INCI: polyoxyethylene (20), sorbitan monooleate) is an amber/golden-colored viscous liquid used as as an emulsifier or surfactant in foods, medicines, skincare products, vaccines etc. It also acts as a surfactant in soaps and cosmetics.
Polysorbate 80 helps bind ingredients like oil and water to each other.
It is made from polyethoxylated sorbitan (chemical compounds derived from the dehydration of sugar alcohol), ethylene oxide and oleic acid, a fatty acid found in animal and vegetable fats
It is often an ingredient in body washes, hair shampoos, lotions, creams, bath oils etc..
It is a safe, non-ionic emulsifier. It can be used with a co-emulsifier, such as Lecithin to cover a wide range of oil in water, and water in oil emulsion systems.
Individually, it is an excellent solubiliser of essential oils, wetting agent, viscosity modifier, stabiliser and dispersing agent.