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