Polysorbate 20


INCI: Polysorbate 20

What is Polysorbate 20?

Polysorbate 20 is formed by the combination of sorbitan (derived from sorbitol) and ethylene oxide, which is later combined with lauric acid. The number 20 indicates the number of ethylene oxide units reacted with sorbitan. It is a yellow liquid, odorless and soluble in water.

Use & Benefits:

Polysorbate 20 functions as surfactant and emulsifier in cosmetic products.  As a surfactant, it lowers the surface tension between two components of the product like two liquids or a liquid and a solid. Since it contains a hydrophilic (Water-loving) and hydrophobic (Fat-loving) end in one single molecule, it attracts dirt, oil, and other impurities accumulated on the surface of the skin from the fat-loving end which then can be washed off easily with water from the water-loving end. As an emulsifier, it gives stability to the product. The product with oil and water-based components get separated into its components. Emulsifier works as an interface between oil and water to hold them together in a product. It stabilizes the product, prevents separation of the components, and enables even distribution of the product components when used. Many environmental conditions like temperature fluctuations and humidity changes can also de-stabilize a product without an emulsifier. It is used in formulations of cleansing products, make-up bases, foundations, shampoos, and other skin and personal care products.

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