Bath Salts/Bombs-> Has anyone tried these Polysorbate 80 substitutes?

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Aug 9, 2018
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I am not scared of ingredients like polysorbate 80 or Cromollient SCE, but I do like to add new or less common ingredients to my products. Experimenting is fun!

Has anyone used these products to disperse oils, EOs, and colorants like micas in bath water (for salts, bombs, and bath oils)? Did you like it? What percentages have you tried? I prefer "greener" ingredients because it makes my friends and family feel fancier using them for some reason. ;-)

Lecithin (liquid or solid)
Olivem 300

Any others ones to check out?

A prepper recently gave me soon-to-be expired fortified milk powder that contained soy lecithin in it. I scooped out a cup of it and mixed in around 1 tbsp of pumpkin seed oil and 20 drops of EO then dumped it under running water. The oils dispersed well, the EO scent lasted longer, and there was no visible oil left in tub to my knowledge. No oil ring! Just enough oil was left on my skin; it was so soft! So, that got me thinking about using lecithin in bath products.


I have been experimenting with solubilizers in my bath bombs & bath oils recently. I have normal skin, but I prefer a lighter moisturizing-type feel from anything I add to my bath. I like to feel mostly clean with a hint of extra softness, so obviously , these are all relative to my taste.
I have used Cromollient SCE in a bath oil recently at 15%, and while it disperses the oils, I feel like it doesn't completely blend the oils and water the way I would like.
I made a bath cream (like a bath melt in a creamy, buttery form) with AquaEm at 25%, and it left a buttery ring around the tub. It washed off and didn't leave the tub slippery, but is was still more residue than I would prefer.
Next, I am going to experiment with Plantasol. It looks promising.
But so far, poly 80 has worked the best for me.
That's helpful to know Cromollient SCE and AquaEm didn't work for your taste as I feel that most of my friends and family would have similar feelings if too much oil stayed behind on the skin. I'm the opposite- I'm a greasy butter lover. :)

I forgot about c/c glucoside as a possibility. Too many ingredients bouncing around my head right now. I'll add that to my list! I know Marie Rayma really likes it as surfactant/solubilizer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I'm 4 years late to the party, but turkey red castor oil works amazingly as a solubilizer. No slick surface, all oils used disperse into water very well.

I have also discovered that even a small amount of castile soap can work incredibly well for this purpose while formulating a specialty, high-end facial mask which I wanted to leave a nice moisturized feel to the skin without feeling greasy. Worked like a hot-d@mn :) In this case, I would use castile soap in place of SLSA or another similar ingredient.

@AliOop also suggested to me the possibility of using castile soap in bath bombs rather than other stuff - such as SLSA - that I won't touch with a 10 foot pole. I avoid a lot of the popular ingredients many makers use. I haven't tried this yet simply because I have no interest in selling bath bombs, but will the next time I make bath bombs with my granddaughter.