Polysorbate 20

Mitigation agent
CAS Number(s)

Polysorbate 20 is an ethoxylated (copolymerized with approximately 20 moles of ethylene oxide) sorbitan ester (a coconut oil fatty acid ester of sorbitol). It is a clear liquid, soluble in water, alcohol, and methanol. It is insoluble in mineral oils.

Polysorbate 20 is a popular, non-toxic hydrophilic oil-in-water emulsifier, stabilizer, and solubilizer that allows oils to dissolve into water-based formulations without alcohol. It is an amber, viscous, odorless ingredient for lotions, creams, and solid personal care formulations.

Polysorbate 20 (with HLB factor 16.7) combines lipophilic and hydrophilic compounds in a single formula thanks to outstanding solubilizing and viscosity-building properties. It provides detergency with controlled foaming and is suitable for all applications and textures. It can also offer fragrance or emollient solubilization.

  • Emulsifies all types of oils and works in combination with lipophilic emulsifiers
  • Solubilizing agent for fat-soluble compounds and oily fragrances in continuous aqueous mediums (including make-up removers, gels, shampoos, etc.)
  • It can be used in a wide range of textures, from spray to butter
  • Provides lightweight-neutral feel

Polysorbate 20 is especially effective when used with sorbitan esters, such as sorbitan monolaurate. This preservative-free ingredient exhibited excellent skin tolerance, including sensitive eye areas. It can provide anti-irritation benefits to mixed surfactant systems, reducing the irritation potential of a formulation. This makes it an excellent co-surfactant for applications where mildness is crucial, such as baby baths and baby shampoos.

Sorbitan, monododecanoate, poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) derivs
Cremophor® PS 20