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Polysorbate 80

* A surfactant * Also known as Tween 80, Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate, and POE (20) sorbitan monooleate

Polysorbate 80 is primarily used in cosmetics and beauty products as a surfactant and emulsifier because of its ability to help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they normally would not be able to dissolve, specifically in the case of oil in water (CosmeticsInfo.org). It can also help to reduce surface tension of substances that need to be emulsified. It is seen in a variety of formulas, including skin fresheners, skin care products, skin cleansing products, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, and fragrance powders, as well as food products.

* A surfactant

* Also known as Tween 80, Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate, and POE (20) sorbitan monooleate

Functions:

Polysorbate 80 is primarily used in cosmetics and beauty products as a surfactant and emulsifier because of its ability to help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they normally would not be able to dissolve, specifically in the case of oil in water (CosmeticsInfo.org). It can also help to reduce surface tension of substances that need to be emulsified. It is seen in a variety of formulas, including skin fresheners, skin care products, skin cleansing products, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, and fragrance powders, as well as food products.

It is a popular ingredient in ice cream, because of its ability to "prevent milk proteins from completely coating the fat droplets. This allows them to join together in chains and nets, to hold air in the mixture, and provide a firmer texture, holding its shape as the ice cream melts," according to Wikipedia. This process is similar to the above mentioned ability of Polysorbate to reduce surface tension in cosmetic and skin care formulas.

Polysorbate 80 is CIR and FDA approved.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Although Polysorbate 80's Material Safety Data Sheet only lists eye irritation as a hazard, the Cosmetics Database also notes cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity concerns, with lesser concerns including organ toxicity and neurotoxicity, although it ultimately finds it a low hazard ingredient. In 2006, animal studies showed reproductive effects at very low doses; in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results.

Further concerns exist about Polysorbate 80's effects on the reproductive system. According an article published at Infertility.Suite101.com, studies were published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2005 that linked Polysorbate 80 to nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions, or anaphylactoid shock, and ultimately, to death from this reaction, including in a pregnant woman receiving an IV drip of multi-vitamins including Polysorbate 80. Another study published in Food Chemical Toxicology found that rats injected with Polysorbate 80 underwent significant reproductive changes. "According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, which is part of the United Nations, scientists from the organization are developing vaccines specifically to damage fertility as a method of contraception. A suggested ingredient for the vaccine is tween 80 (polysorbate 80)."

No corroborating studies were found to link topical application of Polysorbate 80 to reproductive health effects.

Products with Polysorbate 80:

Skinfinite Peptide Repair Serum ($69 in the shop); Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum ($150 in the shop)

As much as possible, products in the Truth In Aging shop are chosen for their safety profile as well as effectiveness.

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