How to avoid SLS in your cosmetics
What is it?
Go grab your shampoo bottle and tell me what the second or third ingredient is. Did you read: Sodium laureate sulfate (SLS), Sodium lauryl sulfate or Sodium lauryl Ether sulfate?....Pewf, that was a mouthful.
SLS is a detergent and surface active substance (surfactant) that is inexpensive and very effective. Ever wonder how your flooded the bathroom with foamy bubbles as a child, or how you can lather up your shampoo and turn into Santa Clause in the shower?
SLS, SLES, ALS and Sodium Pareth Sulfate have powerful cleansing and emulsifying properties.This is beneficial in soap as it breaks up the natural oils found on our skin in turn making it easier to remove and clean. - this is why they are commonly found in our cosmetic products, as they behave similarly to soap.
Is SLS Dangerous?
SLS is known to cause eye and skin irritation. Remember the "no tears" shampoo? My questions is why should there be tears to begin with? Dry hair and skin is a result of this chemical formula. This detergent is harsh, which is why we need to fork out on hair conditioners (which ironically contain SLS as well), skin lotions, and sometimes prescription cortisone creams.
Studies show SLS may be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities 1,4 dioxane or ethylene dioxane (known human carcinogen)
So why should I avoid it?
SLS its self may not be as dangerous as other carcinogenic toxins found in cosmetics, however SLS is not doing your body any good. If you struggle with skin irritation, dry skin, red and bumpy skin, dry & dull hair, problematic facial skin or have a concern for the environment you should be avoiding this ingredient at all cost. SLS will strip the good oils from the skin, leach into your blood stream (along with its contaminants like 1,4 dioxane, which is found in 46% of cosmetic products)
It is important to be aware of your options and alternatives. High quality, hand crafted products are made to protect and provide your skin with nurturing ingredients. Remember, your skin is your largest organ. It is extremely porous and will suck in anything you put on it (especially on the top of your head)
Remember: FOAM does not mean it is cleaning better
What should I use instead?
During the switching process you may be frustrated thinking the alternative products do not work as well. Yes, most will be milder formulas, but with time your body chemistry will begin accepting these products as normal. It is a body transition like with any substance, our bodies need TIME. Once you break that chemical pattern, make sure to stick to it.
Step 1: Decide if your current products are worth keeping. You may want to use up what you have, if not how about donating it to a local woman's shelter?
Step 2: Look at your ingredient lists! Avoid products that contain Sodium laureate sulfate (SLS), Sodium lauryl sulfate or Sodium lauryl Ether sulcate. They are usually found within the first 4 ingredients.
Step 3: Check out what alternatives will work best for you, find brands you trust and avoid SLS!
Step 4: Start switching over the products you didn't even realize would contain SLS : toothpaste, mouthwash, and moisturizer.
Want some suggestions?
Facial Cleanser: Mango passionfruit Cleanser from Rooted Beauty
-Find my review on this cleanser here
Shampoo: Lavender Rosemary Shampoo from Goodness Me!
- John Masters Organics has always been a favourite hair care brand of mine. It all started with the salt spray - this was the first time I truly saw the potential my natural hair texture had.
Soap: Dr. Bronners Magic Soap from GoodnessMe!
- I have been using Dr.Bronners for the past 2 years for everything. Make your own shampoo, hand soap and body wash! Dr. Bronners is a natural vegetable castile soap.
Body Moisturizer: Bar Beleza Beauty Bar from Me & the Girls
- This Multi use moisturizer can be used from head to toe! I absolutely love it as a facial moisturizer to soften my skin, however I can use it on body rashes and redness.