This post is from my original web site posted on April 12, 2011 –
I’ve been seeing a lot of bad press about SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate) lately so I decided to complete my own investigation. OK it really is EVERYWHERE. It seems that SLS is a highly effective surfactant used in a variety of task requiring the removal of oily materials and residues, including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. They use smaller amounts of it in shampoos, shaving creams, toothpaste, body wash and bubble bath. Hmmmm, it’s prized for its ability to remove oil. I don’t know about you but I’d like to keep the natural oils in my skin! Many body washes and shampoos also contain moisturizers which they say counters the effects of SLS. Bringing me to the rest of the evidence that I found; SLS has also been shown to irritate skin and eyes.
Upon checking the studies, I found several, including a clinical double blind crossover study (very scientific results) which found that people who used the SLS toothpaste had a much higher incidence of canker sores than those who used tooth cleaner without SLS. OK, so toothpaste is used in your mouth – canker sores are in your mouth – why, I ask, is this ingredient still used in almost all of the toothpastes on the market?!
I found only one toothpaste (Burt’s Bees) in any of the major stores that did not contain SLS. The only shampoos I could find without this ingredient were Burt’s Bees, and Avalon. SLS is also known as Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate so when you read the labels, look for either name. I now carry a magnifying glass in my purse, as I’ve looked at thousands of labels in several different stores. Geez! It seems not only food labels need to be read all the time, but anything and everything these days… Me, I’m not going to use anything that contains this chemical anymore; let me know your thoughts please.
One more item to note is that much of the bad press links SLS to cancer but none of the studies that I could find in the US or Australia had found any evidence of a cancer risk. Since none of them were long term, however, as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on that one!
Best of Health,