Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate (SLS or SLES) is a cheap caustic detergent used in many products to remove grease. For example, it is used in products that can degrease car engines. So, you wouldn’t think that this is an ingredient that can be found in numerous beauty and personal care products.
Ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate are a very good reason to err on the side of caution and use organic bath and beauty products. You see this chemical in action nearly every day depending on the products you use. When your toothpaste foams up in your mouth; when your shampoo forms a foamy lather around your hair; or when soap suds build up while you are washing dishes. This chemical is what creates the “foam” effect.
The chemical is used because it is incredibly inexpensive. But there are many studies which show that it has negative and rather scary health effects. Below are two primary reasons why you may not want to use products that contain this ingredient.
This ingredient is used in many products that we expose our skin to every day–including soap and shampoo. Yet, it is a skin irritant. Studies have actually show that it can cause layers of skin to separate when subjected to it is high doses. It is known to case allergic reactions in the skin, excessive dryness, and even premature aging of the skin. In the same way that SLS dissolves grease off of a car engine, it also dissolves the oils in human skin which reduces moisture and causes dry skin and early signs of aging when used long term.
Why would anyone want to expose themselves to a product that has been considered a mutagen by esteemed Toxicology journals. Well, the Journal of the American College of Toxicology published an article which stated just that about SLS and SLES. Studies have shown that these compounds can cause a distinct change in the genetic makeup of cells. And they have actually been used in studies to cause bacteria to mutate.
So, it may be time to try out new SLS & paraben free shampoo, hand soap, toothpaste, and any other product you use that foams. Organic beauty products are a great alternative and there are many available today that do not include this dangerous chemical. Organic beauty products are also better for the environment than commercial products as their ingredients are created using ecologically friendly agricultural techniques.