Shampoos, conditioners, lotions and moisturizers are hiding a dirty little secret - many mainstream products are packed with sulfates.
These cheap and nasty chemicals, most notable of which are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), mean that your best loved body care products could be providing you with a boat-load of potential health problems. Here, we are about to enlighten you. After which, a bathroom cabinet clean-out may await.
1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - Amongst those suds lurks organ toxicity
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) isn't only found in shampoos, conditioners and skin care products, but it can also be discovered in mouthwashes, soaps and toothpastes. This terrifying Sulfate is thought to sink into our bodies and reside in the brain, lungs, liver, and heart, hence organ toxicity. It's also been linked to hormone imbalances and lowered fertility in both males and females. Not good at all.
2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate + Dioxane - Perfect partners in itchy crime
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), in some instances, can become contaminated with Dioxane. When this happens (during the manufacturing process) the Dioxane sticks to our skin, and as a suspected carcinogen, that's never good news. It's also considered a skin irritant, is linked to organ toxicity and has even been banned for use in cosmetics in Canada. Sadly, for the rest of the world, Dioxane has been found in as many as 22% of our cosmetic products (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics).
3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - Luxuriously creamy, but the skin and scalp problems aren't so great
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can be considered the worse of the two sulfates (and given how scary Sodium Laureth Sulfates are, that's really saying something!). So, if you're sitting comfortably, then we'll begin our list as to why SLSs should be absolutely avoided... It's a skin irritant; pollutant; a pesticide and herbicide; has corrosive properties; can be contaminated with nitrate; it assists other chemicals in getting under your skin and into your system. Phew! That would be quite the mouthful. Safe to say that SLSs should be avoided.
4. SLS - Think about the kids!
For children, SLS can result in itchy, red raw eyes, as well as a more serious issue - poor eye development, all of which can be delivered even where low levels of SLS are concerned. Concerning? Absolutely? Banned from kiddies' products? Nope. In fact, there's no regulation at all that's proven effective. Can you believe it? We should help our kids steer away.
5. You're looking beautiful! Are you using something Sulfate free?
Not only do sulfates bring about a potential shopping list of health problems, they also dry out your skin and hair - leaving you looking dull and sallow. Skincare experts make the case for avoiding sulfates in skincare products, and they also note that they're commonly included in lotions and potions for the "anti-aging" market (Yeah, because dry and dull skin and hair will take years off, right? Sadly, no.). The best way to be safe is to check the ingredients closely. Most natural hair shampoos and conditioners will be clearly labeled as sulfate-free, while skincare products will require a closer look at their ingredient list.
Replace any products you have that contain sulfates.
We've covered the reasons why sulfates are a no-go, I hope you feel better informed. When making your buying choice, you are now armed with more knowledge to reduce your exposure to toxins.
If you'd like any suggestions as to which products I would recommend, I simply love the Shampoo and Conditioner line from Enovvia, both are devoid of sulfates and use natural essential oils instead of fragrances: Enovvia Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned! 😊 -Melinda C.