The Green Living Guy

We are exposed to different kinds of chemicals every day. Synthetic chemicals found in products we use daily to wash our hair, clean our house, and freshen the room pose a threat to our health and body. Polysorbate 80 is a common ingredient that is usually found in some beauty and body products that we use. High concentrations of this substance can be very harmful to your body. This article will tell you all about Polysorbate 80, how it is utilized, and why it should be avoided. 

Polysorbate 80 dangers

About Polysorbate 80

 So what is Polysorbate 80Polysorbate 80 or Tween 80 is also known as Polyoxyethylene-sorbitan-20-monooleate. It is an artificial nonionic surfactant and a solubilizing agent that is usually one of the major ingredients of lotions, shampoo, ointment, creams, and nutritive. It is also used as an additive in some pharmaceutical preparations, such as fish oil and anti-cancer agents. 

Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate compound is yellowish-brown in color, and it is created through a chemical reaction between sorbitol, ethylene oxide, stearic acid, and other anhydrides. 80 in Polysorbate 80 indicates the type of fatty acid linked to the molecule’s polyoxyethylene sorbitan portion.

Uses of Polysorbate 80

Tween 80 is usually the main component of pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products. It is also used as a solubilizer for food like bread, cake mix, shortening, and salad dressing. Polysorbate 80 stabilizes aqueous drug formulation for vaccination or IV infusions. It can also prolong the shelf-life of certain drugs. 

For aqueous house cleaning concoctions like hand spray, air freshener, and body sprays, tween 80 is the needed ingredient to help the oil disperse evenly and not pool around the surfaces of the furniture.  

Polysorbate 80, because of its emulsifying property, is used as an additive in processed food since it can prevent fats from separating. Companies also add them for fat-soluble dispersion in vitamin-mineral supplements. It helps substances to incorporate with each other even if they don’t usually do, and it makes your ice cream smoother and creamier.

Is Polysorbate 80 Toxic?

Studies show that Polyoxyethylene-sorbitan-20-monooleate can affect microbial growth in a positive and negative way. When it was tested on three kinds of bacteria, it was found that it can affect both planktonic and biofilm growth. 

This only means that polysorbate 80 can affect the skin’s bacteria when used in topical creams and beauty products. It can also affect the gut’s microbiota when used in food or medications. 

Physical Effects Of Polysorbate 80

The human intestine is home to different kinds of bacteria. Some are useful for the body, and some are not. There are some studies that link Polysorbate 80 with Crohn’s disease.  Also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, its list of symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. 

Another study revealed how Polysorbate 80 can impair intestinal permeability as well as disturb the metabolic functions of the adipose tissue and the liver. With these findings, researchers found that it is also possible for polysorbate 80 to alter the absorption of nutrients that the body needs, like potassium and calcium. 

Dangers of Using Polysorbate 80

Polysorbates like 1,4 Dioxane and ethylene oxide are both carcinogens. You can usually find these contaminants in shampoos and conditioners. They are not usually on product labels, but when you use these substances, the products are highly cancerous. They can pose a threat to your health. 

Polysorbate 80 can irritate the eyes and the skin. It is also slightly hazardous when ingested or inhaled. A study in China has successfully identified and characterized the nine main components of Polysorbate 80 and measured their toxicity levels on Zebrafish. Later on, it was found out that tween 80 possesses high toxicity in Zebrafish.  

How to Avoid Using Polysorbate 80?

Polysorbate 80 is a great emulsifier for soap and beauty products and is easily available in the market. But is it essential? Here are some of the tips on how you can avoid the hazardous effect of Polysorbate 80 in your day-to-day activities. 

Give Your Self-Care Products a Makeover

Re-organize your beauty products. Do thorough research on the products that you are using and always check the product label. Make sure that the products that you are using for your hair, skin, face, eyes, and body are polysorbate 80- free and safe. 

Go for Organic Shampoo and Conditioner

Choose to use organic shampoo and conditionerOrganic product means that it is made from organic raw materials, free of chemicals and toxins. An organic alternative for food and personal products is always a good choice. 

The best way to make sure that the product is organic is by locating symbols or seals indicating the product has a certification from an independent expert. Most of the time, these organic products are more costly than the chemically produced ones, but remember that your body deserves the safest and hazard-free choice.

Check Medication Labels

Always ensure that you take the right dose of medication containing polysorbate 80. Studies have shown that excessive amounts of Tween 80  in biotherapeutics can cause hypersensitivity and negative reactions. Other alternative remedies that are Polysorbate-free are also a good solution. 

Reduce The Sprays

Try to limit indoor, hand, and body spray to avoid spreading polysorbate compounds in the air. Inhaling these types of substances can irritate and are slightly hazardous. There are several natural air fresheners that you can use without putting your family’s health at risk. You can always use fresh flowers to keep your home smelling fresh and welcoming. Essential oil is an effective substitute for chemical deodorizers. 


Professionals use polysorbate 80 as an emulsifier, defoamer, and solubilizer for other products. It is usually the main ingredient that is easily obtainable when it comes to food and beauty products. Moreover, it keeps the food well-blended and creamy. It helps ensure that the oil in your beauty products disperses and separates. 

But most of the time, Polysorbate 80 is not that essential. It can irritate the eyes and the skin and is slightly hazardous when ingested or inhaled. Go for a more organic product alternative; your body deserves a natural and safe option.

%d bloggers like this: