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.
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).