I recently had a customer inquire about my use of polysorbate 80 in my bath bombs. This was my response to her inquiry:
l do use poly80 in my bath bombs. It serves as an emulsifier, so that the oils in that I use in the bomb (coconut oil and almond oil) mix into the water instead of creating an oil slick on top. It also helps mix the cosmetic micas (which I use as colorants) into the water instead of on top of it, which would leave a ring of color in the bath tub, and probably leave me with a lawsuit on my hands for ruining somebody's tub.
Poly 80 is used in all types of things like pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics. It is safe, and has a ton of varied uses. For example, it's used in ice cream to make it more scoop-able. I saw that it was in my pickles the other day. Since it is safe for ingestion I have no qualms about using it in bath water.
Polysorbate 80 is also listed in the Handbook of Green Chemicals. It and has tested safe and "Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful" to human health. Please understand that with my background as a scientist, I am very much a believer in the phrase "better living through chemistry." That is, if the science exists, and the product has been proven and tested to be safe, I will use what I have at my disposal to make a better product. After all, everything is a chemical, essential oils included.
If you're not so much on that train, that's totally cool. There are tons of wonderful soap makers in Montana that use only essential oils, clays, and no additives, I'm just not one of them.
Thanks so much for reaching out. Please let me know if there's anything else I can elaborate on.
If you have any questions about any of the ingredients I use, drop me a line! I'm always available to have a thoughtful, educated discussion about my ingredients and process!