Perhaps you get worried these days when you read the list of ingredients on everyday products and find chemically-sounding components. Polysorbate 80 may be one of them. This ingredient is found in a lot of common products – from food to cosmetics to medicine. Here are answers to some common questions you may have about Polysorbate 80.
What is Polysorbate 80?
Polysorbate 80 is a golden-colored liquid that comes from sugar, vegetable oil, and a gas called ethylene oxide. It can be used both as a thickener and a thinner; in other words, it keeps a product’s consistency somewhere between a liquid and a blob.
Why is it used in food?
Foods like ice cream and pudding can be hard to keep shelf-stable because they contain cream, which in time, naturally separates into fat and liquid. Polysorbate 80 is used to keep the creaminess intact. It is used in similar ways in condiments and sauces.
Why is it used in cosmetics?
Polysorbate 80 helps cosmetic ingredients blend better. In soaps and lotions, Polysorbate 80 helps the ingredients break down to the point that they can be mixed easily. Generally speaking, Polysorbate 80 makes cosmetic products look creamier and more attractive.
Why is it used in medicine?
Some vaccines, vitamins, and supplements contain polysorbate 80 as well. One of the main uses is in gel capsules: this ingredient helps them to keep their consistency in the bottle and dissolve properly in the stomach.
Helpful Use of Polysorbate 80: Bath Bomb Recipe
You can use Polysorbate 80 as part of a bath bomb. Here are the ingredients and instructions for a basic recipe.
2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup Citric Acid
8 mL essential oil or blend of your choice
8 mL Polysorbate 80
You’ll also need a teaspoon to mold the bath bombs and a cookie sheet with plastic wrap so the bath bombs can dry.
- Mix your dry ingredients (the baking soda and the citric acid) together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together (the oils and Polysorbate 80).
- Very slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Some recommend using a spray bottle to mix the wet ingredients in, especially if you haven’t done this before.
Your mixture will be firm. Use the teaspoon (or another molding device of choice) to shape the bath bombs. Set them on the cookie sheet and let them dry.
Polysorbate 80 is also good for other homemade cosmetic recipes like lotions, body washes, hair creams, lip gloss, scrubs, dispersing bath oils, conditioners, shampoos, and body and linen sprays.
Whether you’re a DIY cosmetics expert or just getting started, Polysorbate 80 is a must have for your bath and body projects, and MedLab Supply has what you need.