SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE. FRIEND OR FOE?
Popular. Very popular in fact. Often the centre of attention, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) creates bubbles wherever she goes. Found in many cosmetic products, her ‘jam’ is to clean. Also known as a surfactant by her peer’s, with just one touch, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can remove grime from any surface, be it your face, hair, kitchen floors or car’s exterior.
OMG! Did you hear that water and oil don’t like each other? That’s why surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) are so popular, when present, she inherently brings water and oil together just using her charm!
Synthetic chemical surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) are fake. Don’t be fooled by their bubbly exterior and heavenly scent leaving you feeling uplifted and squeaky clean. Their mission is to weaken your skin’s natural defence mechanism allowing their other synthetic friends to cause you further harm.
What’s worse about Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is she’s irritating. Constantly irritating any surface, she comes into contact with.
In fact, SLS is so known to cause irritation, it’s used as a positive control in dermatological testing. That is, new products being tested to see how irritating they might be to human skin are compared to SLS - something we know definitely to be irritating.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is considered dangerous if in direct contact with the skin or eyes for a long period of time. Given that most cosmetic ‘wash’ products are designed to rinse off, it’s assumed that SLS won’t be around long enough to cause major harm. Red flag alert! ‘the assumption’…. did you wash out all the shampoo this morning?
According to a study by the Environ Health Insights Journal, the concentration of SLS found in consumer products varies by product and manufacturer but typically ranges from 0.01% to 50% in cosmetic products and 1% to 30% in cleaning products.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
In Australia, by law, brands must list their cosmetic ingredients by percentage in descending order. Turn over the pack and focus your attention on the first 3 ingredients. Then go to your kitchen and grab out you’re washing up liquid and do the same thing. You might find some similarities! I know I did. Turns out that my Aldi washing up liquid, listed Sodium Lauryl Sulphate as its second ingredient as did my Curash baby shampoo!
The reality is this, oil and water are never going to be friends. The good news is that scientists have come up with natural alternatives to surfactants derived from plants, fruits and vegetables.
MIMI HAIRCARE FOR KIDS being 100% plant-based uses a derivative of coconut as our surfactant. For happy, healthy kids and hair!