A few years ago, I found several articles from eczema sufferers who had stopped using everyday products which contained SLS. Intrigued, I decided to give it a go for myself and I began to see a marked improvement in my own eczema. I still experience flare-ups and problems with it, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I feel that swapping around some of my products for SLS free products has really helped me.
What is SLS?
SLS is short for Sodium Laurel Sulphate. It’s a very common ingredient that’s used in countless beauty, toiletry and household products. If you have something which lathers or foams up, and it’s not a ‘green’ product, it’s likely to have this in it. It’s this typical ‘lathering/foaming’ action which makes SLS such a useful ingredient. Since it is basically a very cheap form of detergent and surfactant, it’s no wonder that so many mainstream brands use it in so many products.
What are the main skin-related problems with SLS?
A lot of people can use products with SLS in them and not experience any issues with it. However, for those who have dry or sensitive skin, especially people whose skin is prone to eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and dermatitis, it can make their skin even worse. Why? SLS is very drying and stripping, and it’s become known as an irritant for anyone who has sensitive or reactive skin. If you’ve ever used a body wash in the shower and then noticed that your skin feels tight, dry or looks red afterwards, chances are it’s because of the SLS in that formula. Reactions to it vary from person to person and can be from mild to severe. Luckily these days, it’s very easy to switch your everyday products to SLS-free alternatives.
4 Everyday Products To Switch
There is a huge range of brands who have SLS-free body washes and shower gels. One of my favourites is Eco By Sonya Coconut and Mint Body Wash . It smells wonderfully summery and refreshing and produces a light lather thanks to using Sodium Laurel Lactylate. This is naturally derived from Coconut Oil and doesn’t have the same irritating or drying effect. Furthermore, the body wash comes in a huge bottle, contains 80% certified organic ingredients and is suitable for vegans.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need SLS in your shampoo to clean your hair, thanks to new and innovative formulas from the green beauty world. I’ve been trying out the 100% natural Rahua Shampoo which cleans my hair exceptionally well. It is made without any synthetic ingredients, parabens or sulphates.
If you like the feel of a refreshing and lightly foaming cleanser on your face in the morning, try Therapi Lemon Myrtle No. 1 Honey Gel Cleanser. This cleanser is lovely and purifying for oily/combination skin types, but doesn’t contain any harsh or irritating sulphates. It’s SLS free and made with 90% organic ingredients and 5% of Therapie’s profits are donated to bee conservation projects.
SLS is a dominant ingredient in most major mainstream toothpaste brands and can lead to irritation of the gums. I recommend you switch to a natural/organic brand like Green People Minty Cool Toothpaste instead. It will protect your teeth just as well as the mainstream brands, but is 100% natural and free from fluoride and SLS.
What are your favourite SLS free products?