What is SLS & SLES?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are synthetic detergents (cleaning agents) and surfactants (which means it makes bubbles). They are widely used inexpensive chemicals found in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, bodywash, soaps, etc.
Why do manufacturers choose SLS or SLES as an ingredient in their shampoos?
As detergents and surfactants they break surface tension and separate molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair. This in turn creates a lather which makes products such as shampoo and toothpaste more effective cleaners.
Another primary use of SLS and SLES is that they remove oily residues. They are significantly cheaper than any plant based alternatives, that's why they are so prevalent in shampoo products.
Why are we encouraged to use SLS and SLES free shampoos?
Similar to all other chemicals, SLS (SLES) has a number of side effects to be concerned.
First of all, SLS is one of the most irritating cleansing agents used in skin-care products. In fact, it's considered as a standard comparison substance for measuring skin irritancy of other ingredients. Thus, in scientific studies, when they want to establish whether or not an ingredient is problematic for skin, they compare its effect to the effect of SLS.
In addition to skin irritation, there are studies that point to residual levels of SLS in the brain, lungs, liver, and heart.
Because Sulfate free shampoos are relatively mild, you can liberate your scalp from irritations. After a few washes, you will notice the difference between SLS free shampoos and regular shampoos. If you are currently experiencing itchy and inflamed scalp, chances are your skin is sensitive to Sulfate. Consider using a different shampoo and make sure that it is SLS and SLES free.
So far, the FDA has not had sufficient evidence to prohibit the use of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in shampoos or any other beauty products. However, just because the FDA has yet to ban SLS does not mean that sulfates are safe. There are plenty of reasons why you should choose to use SLS free shampoo over your regular shampoo. Sulfates have been proven to cause serious skin and scalp irritation and worsen chronic skin hypersensitivity, which is a type of eczema. Young adults have been known to suffer from these symptoms more than any other.
Where can I get SLS (SLES) free shampoo?
At DermaMed, we are offering four different SLS free shampoos for both adults and babies.
Fruit Revitalizing Shampoo is gentle for everyday use, while providing essential nutrients and helping remove waste products that can contribute to hair and scalp problems.
Rosemary-Mint Therapeutic Shampoo, using only the purest herbal extracts and gentlest cleansing agents, treats your hair or scalp conditions, and brings damaged hair back to shine.
Baby Mild Shampoo cleans hair gently with very mild, plant-based soothing agents.
Baby Specialty Shampoo, with natural botanical extracts, relives dryness, flaking, itching, and leaves hair soft and shiny.