Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Truth about SLS/SLES (and Parabens)


As some of you well know there is a swelling movement (mostly of naturalists and puritans) who are moving away from products (shampoos, bath products etc) that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS/SLES). I count myself as one of those people...

However, what is the truth? I've heard SLS purported as a harsh detergent type cleanser or an additive that encourages foaming - hence its use in shampoos etc... so not nice per se but is it dangerous?

I found this article today "Sorting fact from fiction", which gives a nice summary. You can read it and make up your own mind. Of course I would also encourage you to do your own research and read a lot more widely than this one article.

None of my son's baby products contain SLS or SLES. None of my daughter's skin or bath products contain SLS /SLES (she has eczema) and since I had my son, none of my skincare products contain this stuff. Parabens are also not allowed near my family's skin. (Another article here and here if you're interested).

Anyway, that's my contribution.... the main reason I wrote this was because I was wondering why.. if there was such concern about SLS/SLES, why my SIMPLE skin care product would contain SLS, when the SIMPLE range is dedicated to being 'kind and gentle to skin'. Maybe SLS isn't as bad as we've been led to believe? Maybe... but maybe not. So unfortunately, I will not be using the SIMPLE foaming facial wash someone gave me last week. What a shame.


6 comments:

anthia-ofo said...

I guess I'm one too. I try to avoid those ingredients. The trouble is, they're in most shampoos, bubble baths shower gels,toothpastes, even, creams/lotions. Personally, I've read enough to conclude that they are neither kind nor gentle to one's skin,scalp hair follicles or eyes. I was quite shocked to read somewhere how other chemicals are added to baby shampoos/baths to dumb down the effect of sls/sles, so it doesn't sting the baby's eyes! I also read how one man would get HUGE mouth ulcers everytime he used toothpaste containing sls/sles.
I wrote a bit about Sls/Sles and their relatives on my website:http://locsdiary.piczo.com/afrohair!?cr=2&linkvar=000044
a few years back.
Now parabens are another thing I need to eradicate from my personal care products.
As to the question why, it's b'cos they're cheap to use.

Bajan Lily said...

Thanks Anthia! My friends are now asking me for a list of products available in the UK that are SLS/SLES free... so far I only have Burts Bees and some of the Palmolive range (http://www.colgate.co.uk/app/PalmoliveEU/Aromatherapy/UK/Home.cvsp?Mood=Default&Ingredient=Default ). Do you know any others (that they can buy in 'normal' shops)?

laloced said...

I'm part of that club too, i order African Black soap and use that on my skin and also as a shampoo and Dr. Bronner's. Then I make my own spritzes, conditioners and body lotion because then I know what is going in.

anthia-ofo said...

Waitrose baby shampoo, dr bronners and some Jason products dont contain sls/sles. Toothpastes - I use ultrashine radiance which you get from Neways company( all their products are sls/sles, paraben,flouride free). Sarakan is the only toothpaste I know that is without the dodgy stuff from holland &barrats. I too make my own stuff using shea butter, aloe vera, various oils. dr bronners have a good body lotion, but you have to order online.

Naturally Sophia said...

I wanted to make you aware of cosmeticdatabase.org which will tell you the ingredients and how harmful they are if not the actual product itself, by measuring caricnogens and toxins.

Bajan Lily said...

Thanks Anthia-Ofo and Sophia... that link says that SLS is potentially carcinogenic!

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