Polysorbate 20 is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifing agent formed by the ethoxylation of sorbitan before the addition of lauric acid, and is often used in foods and personal care products. Polysorbate 20 is a viscous, water-soluble yellow liquid. The hydrophilic groups in this compound are polyethers also known as polyoxyethylene groups which are polymers of ethylene oxide. In the nomenclature of polysorbates, the numeric designation following polysorbate refers to the lipophilic group, in this case the oleic acid. Polysorbate 20 is often used in cosmetic products as an emulsifier. Soluble in water & alcohols, it is insoluble in oils. It's a fragrance solubilizer and stabilizer; it lubricates and has a soothing effect on the skin. This skin-safe ingredient is used extensively in oil-in-water emulsions (lotions, conditioners, cream rinses, shampoos, liquid soaps, body polishes or scrubs, etc.) and also for body mists and linen sprays. Polysorbate 20 functions to disperse oil in water rather than water in oil.
INCI: Polysorbate 20