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Polysorbates are derived from lauric acid, which comes from coconuts. This class of ingredients work as emulsifiers and also have mild surfactant properties. Polysorbate 60, in particular, is used as a thickening agent and oily liquid used in cosmetics and skin care formulas to dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve, forming emulsions.

Polysorbate 60, as a surfactant, is used to disperse oil (especially essential oils) in water in formulas.

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