The Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – SLS
Nowadays, we tend to overlook the ingredients contained in the personal care products we often use, thinking that governmental agencies are protecting us from harm. You would be shocked to know this is far from the truth. In fact, there are many chemicals still used in personal care products which are known to be harmful to our bodies in a number of ways. One of these chemicals is called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and is a common ingredient in many personal care products and cosmetics.
History of Sodium lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
History always plays an important part to help us understand the original uses of such chemical additives and helps us come to an understanding of whether scuh practices are applicable today.
Sodium lauryl sulfate did not start off as a detergent that was meant for use in consumer products. It was initially sold as an industrial strength detergent primarily used for heavy duty cleaners and degreasers.
The harms explained
SLS (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate) – is one of the most common toxic soap ingredients added to soaps, shampoos shower gels and much more. When SLS bonds with other common soap ingredients, it becomes a carcinogenic nitrosamine. One of the reasons SLS is so dangerous is that it permeates your skin very easily, and also makes your skin more permeable to all the other chemicals contained in the product. Furthermore, tests on animals show that SLS causes skin irritation, leads to organ toxicity, promotes hormonal disruptions and increases your susceptibility to mood disorders.
SLS strips the hair and skin of moisture because of its strong detergent properties. You can actually get your skin, mouth and hair just as clean using gentler, more skin and membrane-friendly substances. There are several fatty acids that work to cleanse the skin without disrupting the delicate acid mantle that protects it from outside elements and toxins.
Sodium lauryl sulfate has been identified as one of the primary skin irritants that are used in body care products today. It has the ability to easily penetrate the dermal layers and enter the blood stream. The caustic lathering agent easily destroys the lipid layers that keep the skin smooth and supple.
It is often used as an absorbing agent to allow other ingredients like vitamins, moisturizers and minerals to be more easily deposited below the skin’s surface. However, most soaps, shampoos and moisturizers that contain SLS also contain a host of chemicals. This is another huge cause for concern since this is typically what is more likely to breach the protective layers of the skin. When you use products with both SLS and other chemical toxins and preservatives, you are inviting these other toxins to more easily penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream.
SLS has shown up in the tissues of the brain, liver, heart and other vital organs. This strongly suggests it is retained long term in several bodily tissues.
The chemical is not allowed as an ingredient in baby shampoo because of its irritating qualities to the eyes and other sensitive membranes. Prolonged exposure can cause blurred vision and burning. It has even been linked to blindness in a few cases.
Studies have shown that SLS can cause gum irritation as well. The majority of commercially available toothpastes contain it as a foaming agent. Those that suffer from major gum disease or irritation have been shown to recover at a much faster pace when discontinuing the use of SLS in their oral care products.
It has been implicated in hair loss as well since it can irritate and possibly damage the hair follicles. When used in shampoos, it can dry out the hair shaft and dull the hair by taking away its natural luster. Avoiding products with this volatile lathering agent is getting easier. There are now soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and other personal care products that offer healthier and more skin-friendly SLS free options.