6 reasons why you really DON'T want SLS in your skincare.
SLS stands for Sodium Laureth Sulfate. It is a synthetic surfactant (foaming agent) and emulsifier (binds oil and water phases together). It is used massively by the cosmetic industry to make foamy textures to shampoos, body & face washes.
Why should I avoid it?
Here are 6 main reasons:
- Skin and eye irritant
- Strip the skin / scalp from its natural oil, making it dry and sensitive
- Neurotoxic (can damage brain cells)
- Disrupt the hormonal system
- Pollute our groundwater (toxic to fish)
- Potentially carcinogen, especially when combined with other synthetic ingredients.
Why is it used if it's that bad?
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is much cheaper than its natural counterparts, and gives very creamy / foamy textures to cosmetic products which customers unfortunately like.
So what can I do?
First, it can be useful to remember this motto:
A foamier product doesn't wash your hair / skin better.
The foamier the product, the most likely the presence of SLS or other harsh synthetic texture agents.
You can also look for natural alternative to SLS, here are names to look for on your cosmetic ingredient list: coco glucoside, babassu (extracted from a variety of palm tree from Brazil), sulfated castor oil, yucca extract, castile soap...