Polysorbate 80 is a general purpose hydrophillic, nonionic surfactants, emulsifying agent consisting of sorbitol, ethylene oxide & oleic acid (polyoxyethylene-20 sorbitan monooleate), oleic acid is derived from vegetable oil. Saponification value 45-55. Soluble in water & alcohols, insoluble in oils.
Often used as a surfactant and emulsifier especially in cosmetics, fragrance, essential oils, and beauty products, due to its ability to help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they normally would not be able to dissolve, specifically in the case of oil in water. They also help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. Polysorbate 80, NF is a viscous, water-soluble yellow liquid, often used as an emulsifier in food, cosmetics, and other products.
Additional Info: Polysorbates are surfactants that are produced by reacting the polyol, sorbitol, with ethylene oxide. The number in the name of the Polysorbate, such as Polysorbate 80, indicates the average number of moles of ethylene oxide that has been reacted per mole of sorbitol. The polyoxyethylenated sorbitan is then reacted with fatty acids obtained from vegetable fats and oils such as lauric acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid. Polysorbates function to disperse oil in water as opposed to water in oil.