Sorbitan Olivate

What is it?

Sorbitan olivate is an ester of the fatty acids from olive oil with sorbitol, a naturally derived moistener, from vegetable sugars.

What does it do?

Sorbitan olivate is an emulsifier, which keeps ingredients from separating.

It is a nonionic emulsifier helps blend ingredients together in cosmetic solutions, usually ones with moisturizing properties. It’s very mild and gives products a smooth and luxurious feel. It's most often used in conjunction with cetearyl olivate and a common ingredient in personal care products such as facial moisturizers, sunscreens and lotions.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Olive oil is saponified and split to create the free fatty acids from its triglycerides. The olive oil fatty acids are combined with sorbitol in a process called esterification to form the sorbitan olivate ester.

What are the alternatives?

Cetearyl olivate is an alternative to the ethoxylated emulsifiers which would not meet the standards of our Stewardship Model.   Polysorbate 60, for example, is made with a process called ethoxylation. 

Is this the right option for me?

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.