Polysorbate-20 VS Polysorbate-80

Hi Crafters!

Many of you have come up to us, asking about the difference between Polysorbate-20 and Polysorbate-80, and when would it be best to use either in your formulations. So, here’s a quick informative post on these two ingredients that can be used in DIY personal care products!

Polysorbate-20 and Polysorbate-80 are used to combine water (like floral water/hydrosol and distilled water) with oils (like coconut oil, peppermint essential oil and shea butter). They are viscous, water-soluble liquid emulsifiers.



  • also known as Tween 20
  • pale yellow in color and scentless
  • used in formulations with less than 5% oils (i.e.: face mist, linen spray, air freshener)
  • soluble in water and glycerin; partially soluble in oils and butters


  • also known as Tween 80
  • yellow in color, and scentless
  • used in formulations with more oils than water (i.e.: cleansing oils, bath bombs, serum)
  • soluble in water, oils and butters; not soluble in glycerin

How much to use?

The amount of polysorbate used is the same as the amount of oils used in your formulation. Thus, it’s a 1:1 ratio.

adding oil phase to diy personal care product craftivitiFor example:

You’re making a linen spray that uses distilled water with 5g of geranium essential oil. Therefore, you will need 5g of polysorbate-20 to be combined with the essential oil before adding them to the distilled water.

Another example:

You’re making a facial oil cleanser that uses flower hydrosol with 80g carrier oils. You will need 80g of polysorbate-80 to be combined with the carrier oils before adding them to the floral hydrosol.

How to use in your formulations?

Vigorously mix the polysorbate and oils together before adding this mixture to the rest of your formulation.


We hope this helps you and that it answers your questions! ❤️️

Other posts you might be interested in:
👉 Three Differences between Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils
👉 Giving Your Essential Oils a Longer Shelf Life
👉 How to Make Your Own Essential Oil Blend
👉 We Tried 3 Common Reed Diffuser Liquid Recipes and Came Up with Two More!
👉 Your Ultimate Scent Category Guide to Craftiviti’s Fragrance Oils
👉 Choosing the Right Carrier Oil for DIY Personal Care

happy crafting

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