Polysorbate 80 (frequently called PS80) has a variety of uses.
It is an emulsyfying agent, as well as being a surfactant.
Polysorbate 80 is commonly used throughout cosmetic, food and also pharmaceutical applications.
Polysorbate is used frequently in cosmetics such as bath bombs, as it helps oil and water to bind better. It can also be used to help Mica pigments in bath and beauty products to become suspended, rather than sticking to the sides of the bath, or sinking to the bottom of the tub, where it will leave a residue once the water has drained away.
Oils used in cosmetic applications will become better mixed, and help to prevent an “oily ring” around the bath.