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Polysorbate

Polysorbate represents a group of emulsifiers used in pharmaceuticals, food preparation, and beauty and personal care products. An emulsifier is a substance that allows two or more liquids that are typically immiscible (unblendable) to combine. Polysorbates are oily liquids that consist of sorbitan and fatty acids. They are formed by producing reactions of polyol and sorbitol with ethylene oxide.

Several common types of polysorbate exist: Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 21, Polysorbate 40, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 61, and Polysorbate 80, among others. The number following “Polysorbate” represents the type of fatty acid associated with the polyoxyethylene sorbitan part of the molecule. Specifically, 20 represents monolaurate, or lauric acid; 40 represents monopalmitate, or palmitic acid; 60 represents monostearate, or stearic acid; and 80 represents monooleate, or oleic acid. Brand names for these polysorbates include Tween, Alkest, and Canarcel.

Unlike other beauty and personal care ingredients that serve many functions across industries, polysorbate has one primary function: to act as a surfactant to create emulsions, allowing ingredients to better combine, thus making the product more effective. Simply put, polysorbate helps to disperse oil in water. Polysorbate’s primary function makes it useful in beauty and personal care products, including cosmetics, as well as food products and pharmaceuticals.

In foods, polysorbate is most commonly used in ice cream, making it smoother and easier to handle. It also prevents it from melting more quickly. Some versions of polysorbate are used as a wetting agent in products such as flavored mouth drops, helping the flavor spread. Still others are used as an emulsifier in powdered drink products, such as hot cocoa mix. In medicine, polysorbate is a common ingredient in the influenza vaccine in Europe and Canada. It also helps emulsify medicines such as amiodarone.

Simply put, polysorbate helps to disperse oil in water.

Several types of polysorbate are widely used in the beauty and personal care industries, thanks to the ingredients surfactant and emulsion benefits. Thanks to these properties, polysorbates are found in a range of products, including skin care products; cleansing products; cosmetics, particularly bases and foundations; shampoos; and fragrances. These products need a well-blended consistency in order for them to be both appealing and effective. When added to such products, polysorbates improve the product’s consistency and allow it to blend into the skin or hair more smoothly.

Polysorbate 20, for example, is a common ingredient in facial cleansers, anti-aging products, and hair styling gels. Polysorbate 40 serves as an emulsifier in cosmetic creams, stabilizing essential oils in water. Polysorbate 80 is common in baby lotions, cold creams, suntan lotion, and bath oils. Polysorbate 85 is a common ingredient in tanning lotion.

The safety of polysorbates has been well studied, and polysorbates have gained approval for use from several organizations. The Food and Drug Administration approved Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 65, and Polysorbate 80 to be used in food products for two purposes.

Several types of polysorbate are widely used in the beauty and personal care industries.

First, it these types of polysorbates work as adjuvants of flavoring agents, helping to add a taste or flavor to food. The FDA has also approved these polysorbates as multipurpose additives in foods. In addition, the FDA allows Polysorbates 20, 40, 60, 65, 80, and 85 to be used as indirect food additives, meaning they become a part of the food in trace amounts; specifically, they are used as emulsifiers and surface active agents. Finally, Polysorbate 80 is used in over-the-counter ophthalmic drug products, serving as a demulcent that creates a soothing film and relieves irritation of mucous membranes.

The safety of polysorbates in beauty and personal care products has also been investigated. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has determined that the following polysorbates are safe to use in such products: Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 21, Polysorbate 40, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 61, Polysorbate 65, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 81, and Polysorbate 85.

Minimal side effects are associated with polysorbates. They are used in small quantities in food products, medicines, and beauty and personal care ingredients in conjunction with many other ingredients. Research by the FDA and CIR Expert Panel has deemed polysorbates as nontoxic and safe to use. Minor side effects, such as skin irritation, can occur on sensitive skin. Discontinuation of polysorbate-based products can relieve such side effects. For the majority of users, however, no significant side effects will occur, thus explaining the FDA and CIR Expert Panel approval of this ingredient.

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Polysorbate Products

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For more advanced signs of aging. Promotes younger looking, more radiant skin in just 2 weeks.
$29.99
1 oz | OF073
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For the first signs of aging. Promotes younger looking, more radiant skin in just 2 weeks.
$24.99
1 oz | OF071
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Includes the microcurrent facial toning device and an attachment for lip and eye area.
$429.00 $503.00 value
NF041
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Get brighter, more even skin in as little as four weeks.
$123.50
2 oz | SM093
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A fast acting serum, super-charged with an unprecedented amount of PSP® and collagen fueling building blocks for visible results in as little as 7 to 14 days.
$235.00
1 oz | NO014
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This product provides a dramatic improvement in the skin's appearance, feel, and function.
$28.00
4 oz | PN003
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Limited-edition value set includes a full size Lifter Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Serum S3.
$199.00 $283.00 value
1 ct | NF035
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Renew your skin with Retinol, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
$65.00
1 oz | PT177
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A rich moisturizer that alleviates dryness caused from aggressive treatments.
$42.00
1.7 oz | GT019
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Get even skin texture and remove excess oils with this daily treatment.
$24.00
4 oz | DV015
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This device improves fine lines, skin tone, pores, smoothness and brightness.
$79.00
1 ct | DD234
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4 oz | VO024
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4oz | VO046
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4 oz | VO027
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4oz | VO054
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4oz | VO050
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Gently softens cuticles while removing stains from nail area.
$17.00
0.5 oz | OY087
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Eucalyptus stimulates and helps relieve sinuses especially during the cold and flu season.
$20.00
17.63 oz | KN042
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A deliciously scented fragrance spray suit for use in home, car and on linens and clothing.
$18.00
4oz | VO058
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A replenishment kit for the DDF Revolve Professional 500X.
$52.00
1 ct | DD235
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Tighten and firm the neck and facial areas.
$59.95
1 oz | JE023
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Achieve gorgeous, golden skin without subjecting your skin to the aging effects of sun exposure.
$16.00
5 oz | PN078
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A refreshing blend of natural ingredients.
$35.70
6.7 oz | OB004
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The strongest formulation available in the Replenix Retinol line.
$84.00
1 oz | TP029
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Fortified with caffeine to enhance antioxidant properties. An Editor's Pick from InStyle magazine.
$73.20
1 oz | TP004
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An advanced anti-aging treatment with 1% Retinol.
$88.35
1 oz | SM099
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This serum offers soothing relief for conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis.
$142.00
1 oz | IS008
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A spot treatment specially formulated to address your most stubborn skin imperfections.
$42.00
0.3 oz | PN018
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A pH-balanced, soap-free formulation for deep cleansing without irritation.
$72.00 $76.00 value
6.8 oz | NSPK02
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Smoothes, firms and evens the tone of normal skin.
$67.20
1 oz | TP026
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Quickly and efficiently clear acne blemishes while preventing future breakouts.
$68.85
1.6 oz | OB047
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Smoothes, firms and evens the tone of tolerant skin.
$73.50
1 oz | TP027
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Boosts hydration to visibly plump skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
$45.00
0.67 oz | PN070
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Professionally formulated retinol designed for those with serious aging concerns.
$90.00
1 oz | RT003
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This product delivers a stronger peel without risk of irritation or recovery time.
$148.00 $176.00 value
60 ct | DG144
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A targeted solution that helps to rid of stubborn acne and redness.
$28.00
4 oz | PN014
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A light bionic serum designed to target stressed skin.
$76.00
1 oz | NS028
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Pevonia Soothing Propolis Concentrate is a micro-emulsified serum with a light texture.
$69.00
1 oz | PE085
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A revolutionary anti-aging product addresses 10 visible signs of aging in one product.
$162.00
1 oz | NV188
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This eye balm reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.
$100.00
0.5 oz | NO012
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This moisturizer helps to balance uneven skin tone and leaves skin with a radiant finish.
$68.00
1.7oz | GO033
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Formulated to remove excess oils, fats, and other lipids present on acne prone skin.
$32.00
3.4oz | NS011
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A one step, at home treatment that delivers professional level exfoliating and tightening.
$78.00
60 ct | GH009
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Delivers skin toning and astringent benefits.
$21.90
60 ct | TP034
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Temporarily reduce the appearance of crow's feet, fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye bags.
$49.00
0.33 oz | HY014
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Deep cleansing without irritation.
$38.00
3.4 oz | NS041
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This advanced formula delivers the highest concentration of Vitamin C.
$99.00
1 oz | YD009
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Specially formulated for oily and acne-prone skin.
$19.00
60 ct | TP033
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