EWG Risk Score:
1 (Steph's risk score: 5)
What is it?
Polysorbate-20 is fragrance component, a surfactant, an emulsifying agent, and a solubilizing agent.
Why is it a risk?
Polysorbate starts out as harmless sorbitol, but then it's treated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. It's called Polysorbate 20 because it's treated with 20 "parts" of ethylene oxide. The higher the number, the more ethylene oxide it has been treated with. This substance is then combined with various fatty acids. The Skin Deep Database rates it as only a "one," and doesn't pick up on the risk that it could be contaminated with ethylene oxide, and subsequently, 1,4 dioxane. In addition, it can be laced with heavy metals.
Types of products it's found in:
Facial cleanser, body wash, toners, moisturizer
A Few Brands that use this ingredient:
Kiss My Face
Although it's derived from a natural ingredient, it is not natural--it is an ethoxylated compound. This is another case in point proving that you need to do your own research and not just count on the EWG risk score, as there are many ingredients that can slip through the cracks.