READ THE LABEL [CHAPTER 6] Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

I decided to start with this ingredient because I recently met a lady who’s blood work showed she was allergic to this ingredient. The information presented is based on lots of research hours, and I’m breaking it down so it’s easy to digest. Hope you pay attention!

What is sodium laurel/ethyl/laureth sulfate (SLS)  and ammonium laurel sulfate (ALS)?  It’s artificial soap. (I can get technical, but what’s the point?)

babyshampooWhere you’ll find it:

  • detergents & dish soap
  • body soap
  • toothpaste
  • shampoo
  • face wash
  • medical ointments
  • bubble baths
  • children’s soaps/shampoos
  • hair dyes
  • flea/tick repellent
  • food additives
  • stain removers
  • carpet cleaners
  • fabric glues
  • shaving creams
  • mascara
  • mouthwash
  • lotions/creams

What are the effects of exposure?
SLS/ALS is a molecule that attaches to estrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of this hormone throughout the body. What happens next is hormonal chaos, to the point where the body can no longer control or recognize its own estrogen levels (both males and females have estrogen). When this happens, your body’s endocrine (hormonal) functions go wacky.

Here are some findings based on toxicology data and research studies. SLS/ALS:

  • Cannot be metabolized by the liver
  • Causes eye irritation (potential corneal damage/eye deformities)
  • Scalp irritation/hair follicle damage
  • effects estrogen levels (PMS, menopause, male fertility, increase risk of female cancer, breast cancer)
  • It’s a mutagen (mutates your genes)
  • Potential organ damage

A recent study by the non-profit, Environmental Working Group, showed that many cosmetic products, including more than half of all baby soaps, contained a carcinogenic chemical.

The Hidden Foaming Agent not Required to be Listed by the FDA
There’s a chemical called 1,4-dioxane that is created as a bi product (during manufacturing process) of creating chemicals such as SLS/ALS, and in anything that says “PEG,” “xynol, “ceteareth,” and “oleth.”

Basically, it’s another foaming agent, that too, is a cancer-causing chemical. Sadly, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does NOT require this ingredient to be listed on products. The Environmental Working Group found that 22% of all cosmetic and skin care products, of some 25,000, may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.

Where you’ll find 1,4-dioxane:

  • 97% hair relaxers
  • 82% hair dyes and bleaching
  • 66% hair removers
  • 57% baby soap
  • 45% sunless tanning products
  • 43% body firming lotion
  • 36% hormonal creams
  • 36% facial moisturizers
  • 35% anti-aging products
  • 34% body lotions
  • 33% eye creams

Avoid using artificial soaps. You’ll usually find SLS/ALS (spelled out) in the ingredients list. It typically appears as the second item on the list, next to water. Try natural bar soaps (cold-processed made with lye) or castile soap.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from my presentation “READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural and Organic Skin Care.”

Written by Dahlia Kelada, from her presentation READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural & Organic Skin Care  © 2013 All Rights Reserved

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