Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - Is it Dangerous
SLS is a detergent and surfactant found in a significant amount of personal care products such as soaps, facial cleansers, shampoos, toothpaste, body washes as well as domestic and industrial cleaners (such as carpet cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash products… yuck!). Concentration levels are anywhere between 1-30%. It’s cheap to use and a very effective foaming agent. It’s also very harsh on the skin and linked to skin or scalp irritation, allergic reactions, dermatitis and dryness.
SLES is a similar chemical claimed to be less harsh on our skin and hair.
The most concerning issue with these chemicals is that during their manufacturing process, they are contaminated with dioxane- a carcinogenic by-product.
Chemicals we apply to our skin and scalp are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, flowing through our vulnerable organs and toxifying our bodies.
Unfortunately, the world of personal care and beauty products is a highly unregulated one. Any manufacturer is free to claim their product as “natural” or “organic.” A label with the word “natural” does not mean it contains only natural or organic ingredients.On the contrary, it could be that only 1% of the total content is “natural”!
While infrequent, low level use will most likely not result in such an extreme condition as cancer, we should keep an eye out for the ingredients listed on the back of our personal care products. Do most ingredients look like a Chinese chemistry lesson? If you can’t pronounce most of them, it’s most likely the manufacturers have moved away from natural ingredients, to highly processed chemical ones.