Know your ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

What it is:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate. It is a chemical compound used in many beauty products.

What it does:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used as a cleansing agent in cosmetic and personal care products. It cleans the skin and hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. It also removes sweat and styling product residue.
It also is a foaming agent as it produces lather.
Also used as a dispersal agent in bubble baths or toothpaste and products that need its components dispersed homogeneously, such as fragrance oils in body spray.

Side effects:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is irritant at concentrations of 2% and higher.
It can also dry skin, as it strips the protective lipids from the surface, weakening the body’s natural moisture regulation mechanisms. It can also dry out the scalp. However, co-surfactants and conditioning agents added to the formulation of the product can reduce the drying effect.
SLS is highly comedogenic.
It can also cause eye irritation, tangled hair and hair loss as well as
chapped lips and perioral dermatitis (a rash around the mouth).

0 Comment

  1. I’m really digging these posts on product ingredients. Thank you for posting them! What sparked your interest in knowing about them?

  2. I’m really glad you like these posts Elena. My interested in product ingredients is quite recent. There are just so many products out there that claim to do great things for you but then don’t really work. Knowing about ingredients helps you choose products that are actually effective and avoid the ones who are irritating or comedogenic. Not only this is good for your skin, but for your wallet, too.

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