Polysorbate 20


Polysorbate 20 is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifier perfect for solubilizing essential oils into water based products.

An automatic surcharge, determined by UPS, will be charged to all pail orders due to special handling requirements.

Grouped product items
Product Name Qty
Polysorbate 20 - 1 lb
Polysorbate 20 - 7 lbs
Polysorbate 20 - 35 lbs
Polysorbate 20 - 55 Gallons (Lead times vary)
Also known as TWEEN20, Polysorbate 20 is a great "inbetweener" for other emulsifiers to help cover a wide range of oil in water (o/w) and water in oil (w/o) emulsions. It is highly effective in water alone to help essential oils solubize and avoid the need to shake water and essential oil products before use. It can also be used as a viscosity modifier.
Please note that Polysorbate 20 can make emulsions appear somewhat hazy with a yellow tint. It is recommended that sprays made with Polysorbate be stored in opaque or amber glass packaging to diguise any potential color variation.

Ingredient Highlights

  • Category: Additive, emulsifier, surfactant
  • Ingredient Function: Emulsifier
  • Used in: Lotions, creams, serums, conditioners, shampoos, soaps, scrubs and polishes, cleansers, exfoliants, toners, room sprays, gels, color cosmetics
  • Solubility: Water soluble
  • Appearance: Pale yellow clear to hazy viscous liquid
  • Odor: Mild characteristic odor

Production Information

  • Derived From: Sorbitan, Monododecanoate, Poly(Oxy-1,2-Ethanediyl) Derivatives, Water, 1,4-Dixoane, Oxirane, Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Part(s) Used: N/A
  • Preserved With: No preservative
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Method of Extraction: Ethoxylation with ~ 20 moles of ethylene oxide 
  • Processing: Ethoxylation

Pro Tips

  • A water soluble emusifier perfect for adding essential oils to room sprays, toners, and perfumes.
  • A lighter colored, less visually obvious alternative to Polysorbate 80.
  • A non-ionic, low foam surfactant that can be used as a dispersant as well as a solubizer of oil or fragrance.

Using Polysorbates in DIY Cosmetics

Understanding Polysorbates

This product is vegan.

Lead times vary for 55 gallons and up. Learn More

Recommended Usage Rate: 1 - 20%

Use Polysorbate 20 at a 1:1 ratio with your essential oils, mixing them together. Then add in to your water or alcohol base.

Start with a small tester amount—you may need a 2:1 or even 3:1 ratio depending on the formula and the specific essential oils you're using.

How To Store

Store in a dry, cool place in a tightly closed container. Avoid extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

If you are storing surfactants or surfactant-based products in metal, then all surfactants should be stored in 316 stainless steel or fiberglass with a corrosion liner. It can be kept in plastic, as long as there is no metal connection to the plastic container's handle.

No matter what type of container a surfactant or surfactant-based product is stored in, mild agitation is recommended to maintain homogeneity. Store in sealed containers in a dry 55 - 75°F degree room. Pumps, pipes and transfer lines should be 316 stainless steel.

Common Name:

Polysorbate 20

International Nomenclature (INCI):

Polysorbate 20

Warning Statements

Not for internal consumption. For external use only.

Pregnant or lactating people or those with known medical conditions should consult with a physician prior to using product.

Technical Specs

  • Color: Pale yellow viscous liquid
  • pH: 5 - 7
  • Specific Gravity: ~1.1


Please note that our suggested usage instructions are intended to serve as a guide. Due to the unique nature of each ingredient, it is important to always research and consult with a qualified professional as needed, prior to use. Usage guidelines can change and you are responsible for adhering to local regulations. EWL cannot be held responsible for any harm caused due to the misuse of these ingredients.

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