Polysorbate 60 is a synthetic ingredient that can be used in cosmetics and skin care to improve the texture of the formulation. It can be used as a surfactant, emulsifier and solubilizer. Polysorbate 60 is produced by ethoxylation of sorbitan. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that can be found naturally in certain fruits. Ethoxylation is the chemical reaction of adding ethylene oxide to sorbitol. Sorbitan reacts with 60 units of ethylene oxide, thus the number 60 in its name. The last step is to react with fatty acids derived from vegetable oils, such as lauric acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid or oleic acid.
In addition to its functions in cosmetics, polysorbate 60 can also be used to prepare a variety of products in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Polysorbate 60 in cosmetics mainly functions to enhance the emulsification and lubricity, and is suitable for long-term storage. Polysorbate containing 60 oxyethylene units is a hydrophilic nonionic surfactant and is widely used as an emulsifier for stable oil-in-water pharmaceutical emulsions. Polysorbate 60 can also be used as a solubilizer for various substances, including essential oils and oil-soluble vitamins. High concentration of electrolyte and changes in pH value have little effect on its emulsification ability. It has a good emulsification effect on vegetable oil, mineral oil, animal fat, etc.