March 6, 2009
Since many of the skin care products at babyecotrends.com tout their Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) free and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) free formulations, we have received more than a few requests for more information about the benefit of SLS/SLES free skin care. Let’s start by pointing out the obvious: there is a lot of conflicting information regarding the safety of SLS/SLES. Unfortunately, a few who stand to financially gain from misinformation have exaggerated the concerns and even fabricated falsehoods surrounding SLS/SLES. There is cause for concern, but not for alarm.
SLS is a surfactant that is commonly used in toothpaste, shampoo, shaving foam and bubble bath for its thickening effect and lathering properties. SLES is a detergent and surfactant found in shampoo, toothpaste and soap. SLES has been linked to increased frequency of canker sores among people with frequent recurring sores. And although Sodium lauryl sulfate is a skin and eye irritant and can cause dermatitis with prolonged contact, but is not a known carcinogen. Given the irritating potential of SLS/SLES, we recommend avoiding them whenever possibly, especially for newborns and young children.
Other than the effects SLS/SLES may have on humans, it is important to consider their environmental effect. The impurities present in the production of SLS (even when produced from plant sources such as palm/coconut) end up in our water and soil and may harm other living organisms. So, although continued use of skin care products with SLS/SLES may not be a prelude to cancer, using products free of both agents will avoid the chance of irritation as well as being earth friendly. With the variety of SLS/SLES free products available, consumers have more great choices than ever!