Polysorbates are a surfactant and an emulsifying ingredient. Which means that they help mix oil and water together and they help to keep fragrances fresh and mixed properly in the product. Because of their function polysorbates are seen in ALOT of products ... bath bombs, bath oils, room mists, perfumes ... anything that has a function of water and fragrance and you will see polysorbates.
Polysorbates have a lot of different alysis - for example one of the most popular polysorbates is polysorbate 20 and it can also be know as the following:
(aka ... chemical sh!t storm)
MONODODECANOATE POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS. SORBITAN, POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS. SORBITAN, MONODODECANOATE, POLYOXYETHYLENE (20) SORBITAN MONOLAURATE, POLYOXYETHYLENE SORBITAN MONOLAURATE, POLYSORBATE 20, POLYSORBATE-20, POYLSORBATE-20, SORBIMACROGOL LAURATE 300, SORBITAN, MONODODECANOATE, POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS., and TWEEN-20
If all that mess above doesn't scare you away from polysorbates, this will ... the worst part of the ingredient is that although on its own it is classified as having a low sense toxicity rate, it has a high contamination rate. This basically means that if it was created purely, it would be an okay chemical, but it is often contaminated with other seriously nasty chemicals ... the biggest question is, how much of them are in there? Chemicals that are seen mixed with polysorbates are ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen which causes tumors to develop in the mammary gland. 1,4-dioxane is a known human respiratory toxicant and there have been animal studies done on the chemical that show gastrointestinal and liver damage through low dosage of the chemical.
If there are polysorbates in almost everything that you put on your skin or spray into the air, this becomes a problem because of the sheer amount that you are exposed to of the hidden chemicals on a day to day basis.
Enough doom and gloom ... the point is, a small seemingly harmless chemical that is everywhere in your skincare and home fragrance is way more toxic than what one would think.
There is an alternative!
But there is an alternative and I definately 100% use this alternative with ALL the products that would require the use of a solubilizer (remember that fancy word at the beginning of the post - it means it keeps fragrance fresh and incorporated throughout the product). CCG is what I use to formulate the room mists and bath oils that you can find at Sixth Spice. It's fancy INCI name is [ Caprylic, capric glucoside Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside ] It is completely harmless and is made from sugar based veggies and it is certified ecofriendly ... aka Ecocert approved. Basically nature always has an alternative if someone is willing to dig in and look ... this is my passion and something I will continue to do!
Polysorbate rant over - check the products you buy out for polysorbates and save you and your loved ones for hidden nasties ... and if you are not sure ask someone for help or check out the environmental working group skindeep data base where you can type in specific ingredients and look at their toxicity level for yourself!
Until the next rant I wish you the best ... and keep it green!
Jes from Sixth Spice