Polysorbate 80:

There are many ingredients that can be used for bath bombs. Frankly, it seems everyone has slightly different “essential” ingredients to add to the mix. If you plan on making your very own bath bombs, you probably want to know what to put in this DIY project. An essential ingredient for us is known as polysorbate 80.


what is polysorbate 80 in bath bombs


You have likely thought about what scents and colors you will place in your bath bomb, right? 
Several of the ingredients like, citric acid, baking soda, and Epson salts, many people are familiar with. Furthermore, are known to be relatively harmless considering most of us have these in our homes already for cooking purposes. However, we would assume that many have never heard of polysorbate 80.

So, what in the world is this ingredient anyways? Not every bath bomb needs polysorbate 80 in their recipe, it depends on several factors, which we’ll get into in a few moments.


Related Article: Why Fizz and Bubble Bath Bombs Continue their Popular Trend


What is Polysorbate 80?

What exactly is polysorbate 80? Polysorbate 80 can be a fairly important ingredient when making bath bombs. Polysorbate 80 comes in a liquid form (rather viscous), and is an amber to golden color. It is a synthetic emulsifier that helps dissolve substances. It is actually used in foods, medicine, and vaccines as well as cosmetics. 


Why Polysorbate 80 in Bath Bombs?

Polysorbate 80 is used in many bath and beauty products for different reasons. However, in particular as it has to do with bath bombs, it helps for the oils and colors to disperse more evenly. 
Have you ever used a bath bomb in which the color pooled at the top of the water or created a terrible ring around the tub?

Well, polysorbate 80 helps prevent this very annoyance.


polysorbate 80 helps disperse colorants


In fact, colorants like mica’s that many DIYers or people selling bath bombs use, oftentimes leaves said colored ring around the tub. When polysorbate 80 is added to the bath bombs it helps distribute or disperse these colorants better in the water, preventing this issue. 

Similarly, it will help disperse oils. Oils are not water soluble. Oils used in bath bombs can potentially be a safety concern. They tend to make the bottom of the tub slippery, after settling. However, oils can also have a wonderful effect on the skin, therefore makers include them in recipes. Polysorbate 80 helps to disperse the oils as well. 

However, if you are one to use a considerable amount of heavy oils in bath bombs the bottom of the tub may be effected regardless.


Related Article: Can’t Miss Recipe for Foaming Bath Bombs


Can I Avoid Polysorbate 80?

If you wish to eliminate polysorbate 80, you may want to think about the colorants and oils used. If you don’t want to have to deal with the ring from the colorant, you can use water soluble colorants. For example, bath certified dyes, (which typically have to be bloomed). Their are some water soluble “lake” colorants as well.



There are other liquid colorants you can find on the market that don’t need polysorbate 80, as they are water soluble. However, if you’re including any oils in your bath bombs, polysorbate 80 can be important.

Usage Rate: Typical usage rate in bath bombs is around 2-5%, & Lotion usage rate is 1-5%


Final Thoughts!

Like most other things bath & beauty related, it’s important to test out percentages of polysorbate 80 dependent on the rates of other ingredients in your bath bombs, like colorants and oil usage. 

Please share your thoughts or experience using polysorbate 80 in bath bombs, lotions, baths oils or even in bath sprays. Let other DIYers know what works. As always, make sure to get your ingredients from reputable sources and companies!



  • https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/how-to-make-bath-bombs/
  • https://diybeautybase.com/polysorbate-80-bath-bombs/
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