Sodium Laureth Sulfate - Skin, Hair and Scalp

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Sodium laureth sulfate is also called sodium lauryl ether sulfate, (SLES).  It's an inexpensive foaming agent derived from ethoxylated lauryl alcohol.  It's found in many cosmetic and personal care products including:  soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, shaving creams, mouthwashes, bubble bath, detergents, body wash, dish soap, mascara, lotions, sun cream, carpet cleaner, stain removers, etc..   This compound exhibits very similar characteristics as sodium lauryl sulfate, (SLS).  One difference between the two is SLES is higher foaming but somewhat weaker than SLS.  There is much controversy regarding the safety of this compound.  



Some have suggested that both SLS and SLES are carcinogenic, but there is no hard evidence.  Ethoxylation is a process that uses ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen, to manufacture SLES.  During the manufacturing process, ethoxylated surfactants may become contaminated with 1,4- dioxane, a by-product.  Laboratory studies show that animals exposed to dioxane for long periods of time can develop cancer, which can be likewise in humans.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission agrees that even a trace of this contaminate in skin or personal care products is cause for concern.  This chemical can penetrate the layers of the skin or scalp.  Exposure to large amounts of dioxane can cause kidney and liver damage.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to monitor its use in consumer products.

Sodium laureth sulfate can be irritating for skin and eyes.  Although it's less irritating than SLS, it's effects are longer lasting.  The American College of Toxicology states:   0.5%  SLS concentrations can cause skin irritation and 10% - 30% can cause skin corrosion or severe irritation.  Skin becomes dry and irritated.  Rashes, infections, inflammation and contact dermatitis can be a common reaction.   Environmental contaminants can invade the lower surfaces of skin, more easily.   Those with sensitive skin, especially, should take caution using products with high amounts of SLS or SLES.

Sodium laureth sulfate is found in shampoos.  Eye irritations, scalp irritations, inflammation of face, arms and hands have all been reported, almost definitely related to its use.  Hair becomes dried out, frizzy and unmanageable.  Split ends are more prevalent.  When washing the hair and scalp, it is not determined how much is absorbed through skin and how much is evaporated.  When rinsing after shampoo, remaining residue on the scalp can occur.  This can dry the scalp and cause scalp irritations.



Consider using or making your own homemade skin care or personal care products.  You do not have to depend on products containing chemically manufactured, harsh or dangerous, chemicals.  Use mild and gentle natural ingredients, instead.  Soap making oils including:  avocado oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil and more can be used and you don't have to worry about toxic consequences!   There are abundance of soap making oils that can be combined with natural essential oils for aromatic fragrances.  Make sure to use essential oils with extreme caution.  Essential oils are potent.  They contain bioactive ingredients which means that interact with biological systems.   Never use essential oils straight.  Never apply them directly to skin, hair or scalp.  Always use in diluted form or with a buffering agent, in soaps, lotions, creams, etc….  Never use essential oils without knowing what their bioactive compounds are known to do.  Essential oils can offer aromatherapy benefits. 


Consider making homemade soap, homemade lotion, homemade shampoo and more.  Learn how to make soap and other skin or hair care products, from a professional.  This will save you time, money and energy.  Goat milk products have gained public popularity.  Goat milk, itself, contains the benefits of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K!  Handmade experts confirm that goat milk is the main ingredient that makes the difference between regular commercial soap and a handmade luxury item like goats milk soap.  It helps keeps skin close to its natural ph level, so the natural beauty of skin is revealed. It, naturally, helps to regenerate collagen under the skin negating the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines or wrinkles.  Homemade shampoo with goat milk and other nourishing ingredients can help repair split ends, improve scalp conditions and prevent scalp build-up.  The natural beauty of hair is revealed.  Homemade lotion with goat milk moisturizes, soothes and softens skin.  Skin does not feel oily, or greasy but refreshed or invigorated, instead.  If you don't have the time, patience or knowledge to make these products yourself, consider finding a professional homemade skin care expert.  A professional goat milk soap maker knows how to, perfectly, blend natural ingredients to accommodate your skin or hair care concerns.  They can make a variety of, healthful, products with homemade soap recipes, homemade lotion recipes and more!


25 Sep, 2011

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