Polysorbate 80

I tried making an oil cleanser with tween 80 in a 1:1 ratio with the oil phase. I used rosehip oil. I mixed and it was cloudy at first then it separated. Can someone please explain why that happened and let me know alternatives I can use in the oil phase that would mix well. I would also need to modify the viscosity as it is very runny. Do you have any ideas? 



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Your ratio is off. You need to do something more like 4:1 ratio of solubilizer to oil. You might try Oleth-20 or a different polysorbate. But the first thing to do is get your ratio right.
  • Poly 80 only mixes with very polar oils. I think that C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is the most cost-effective option, but octyldodecanol and caprylic/capric triglicerides would work as well. You don't need 50%, 15 to 20% is sufficient.
  • 50% is way to much polysorbate80. Try from 5%-10% and see which formula you prefer the most.
    Mixing plant based oils with polysorbate 80 will separate, but the product will work. You just need to shake the bottle before use. For personal use, i dont think that'd be a problem.
    However, oil cleansing using rosehip oil is just not worth it, coz it'll be washed away during cleansing. Rosehip oil is expensive. I'd rather use that as a facial serum or moisturiser.. 
  • You can also try other emulsifiers like PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil or PolySugaMulse.

    Try different test batches in 0.5% emulsifier increments until you find one that is stable.
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