Ingredient of the Week

a Salon Naturals blog

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Among the most commonly used surfactants in mainstream products is a class of chemicals often referred to as SLS.  Unfortunately, these chemicals also pose multiple serious health risks. Sodium lauryl sulfate in particular is an effective stain remover, engine degreaser, car washing soap, detergent, and foaming agent. These industrial applications in heavy cleaning environments are courtesy of the compound’s acidic behavior as it is derived from sulfuric acid. In the thousands of cosmetic products that feature SLS, including oils, lotions, soaps, and toothpastes, it is allegedly used to create a foaming effect.

Aside from the benefit of soap lather, the incorporation of sodium lauryl sulfate into commonly used cosmetic products has produced a number of concerns among conscientious consumers. It is used in the automotive and cleaning industry because it is a potent cleaner. However, its use in cosmetics is appealing to manufacturers primarily because it is inexpensive and readily available.  Companies continue to include this dangerous chemical in their formulations in spite of the many adverse health effects linked to SLS exposure, including allergies, eczema, and general acute skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is inherently able to denature critical proteins on the surface of the skin, breaking the vital protective structures that the body forms and endangering deeper skin membranes. Upon complete absorption of SLS into the bloodstream, it can cause similar effects internally.

To avoid allergic reactions or worse, consumers should familiarize themselves with sodium lauryl sulfate and all other chemicals in the SLS family.  Learn more about sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and many other toxic chemicals frequently found in cosmetics by educating yourself and your family.


June 27, 2011 Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yucky! | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Propylene Glycol

Intended primarily for anti-freeze, brake fluid, and cleaning supplies, propylene glycol is used in cosmetics as well as many other industries to achieve a number of desirable qualities in products. In manufacturing environments, it is used as a solvent, de-icer, coolant, and a lubricant. Extremely popular among cosmetic manufacturers, the ingredient is frequently used in makeup and hygienic products such as toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, lotions and other cosmetics to maintain a moist consistency. This preserves the product and creates the illusion of hydration that consumers want. There are a number of pressing health concerns, however, that are should clearly concern companies who use propylene glycol in their products.

Recent links to asthma, eczema, and allergies have formed the curious disparity between what the CIR claims is a safe product, allowing a 50% concentration of propylene glycol in cosmetic products, and what it actually is. Many of the more conscientious cosmetic manufacturers, in fact, have begun replacing propylene glycol with other moisture-transporting agents to minimize the potential health risks of common, frequently used products. This action exposes two major observations: propylene glycol is understandably unsafe for use in cosmetic products, and there are an abundance of safe alternatives available to replace it right now.

Examining propylene glycol as a toxic agent regardless of its application is important for consumers of all kinds, as it only takes contact with the skin to manifest its adverse effects. Children especially are prone to developing respiratory problems, allergic reactions, arrythmia and even hypotension as a result of propylene glycol exposure. Conscientious consumers have two choices in quelling these negative developments: advocating for industry-wide replacement of propylene glycol and avoiding it altogether.

Learn more about propylene glycol and alternatives that are safer for you and your family. Please contact Salon Naturals with any questions about toxic cosmetics, healthy shampoos, natural, organic ingredients and safe bath products.

June 24, 2011 Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yucky! | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments