Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - Skin, Hair and Scalp

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What is sodium lauryl sulfate, (SLS), ?  It's a coarse powder used as a foaming agent.   It's produced by combining the compounds sulfate and lauric acid. It's used in many commercial products including:   detergents, soaps, shampoos, shower gels, bubble baths, cosmetic cleansers, toothpastes, deodorants, mouthwash, candy, aspirins, laxatives, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, car was soaps, beauty and skin care products.  There are arguments on both sides relating to the dangers or safety of this compound.   Marketing companies have gone to great lengths to exploit, misguided, consumer beliefs for a profits, throughout history.  So, what should a consumer do?   What is the truth about sodium lauryl sulfate? 

For years the public has perceived SLS as a carcinogenic risk.  On the contrary the  Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA), the National Toxicology Program, (NTP), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, (IARC), have all rated SLS as non-carcinogenic.    So why the confusion?   When this compound is absorbed into the body, it mimics the activity of the estrogen hormone.  Breast cancers in women, PMS problems and drop in male fertility have been linked to high estrogen levels.  Some claim that SLS reacts with ingredients forming nitrates, potential cancer causing carcinogens.   In the 1970's some shampoos were contaminated with small amounts of nitrates, due to ethanolamine lauryl sulfates, not sodium lauryl sulfates.  



There is cause for concern with SLS in beauty and skin care products.  SLS is used in laboratories to cause skin irritations on animals and humans.  Healing agents are then tested to see how well they respond to the irritations.  This compound cleans by corrosion.  It dissolves oils on skin by stripping it of its protective surface lipids, interrupting moisture regulation.  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.  The American College of Toxicology states:   0.5%  SLS concentrations can cause skin irritation and 10% - 30% can cause skin corrosion or severe irritation.



SLS can be found in commercial shampoos.  It de-greases hair and gets rid of dirt.  The problem is, residue may be leftover on the scalp after rinsing.  This may cause different problems for the hair and scalp.  Some claim it dries out the scalp, causing flakiness,  dandruff and scalp irritations.   There is no hard evidence, but some claim when using shampoos with SLS, long enough and repeatedly, it can weaken hair follicles.  This can lead to baldness or split ends, causing hair to look dull or frizzy.



So why is SLS used in skin and hair formulations?  Basically, the answer is it's inexpensive to use.  Stop and think for a moment.  Do you want to clean your skin and hair with a chemical that is used to clean engines and driveways?  There is an alternative choice.  Consider making homemade soap, lotions, shampoo and creams  yourself or find a professional who does. 

Goat milk soap is handcrafted with a combination of soap making oils and essential oils.  Goat milk, itself, contains the benefits of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K!  Goats milk soap contains fresh goat milk as well as other ingredients, including:  avocado oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, babassu oil, soybean oil and more.  Essential oils may include:  lemon, lavender, orange, peppermint, spearmint, patchouli, tea tree, rose, chamomile and more.  Ingredients can be added to these handcrafted soaps such as aloe vera juice or oatmeal for soothing effects on dry itchy skin, minor skin irritations, acne, inflammations and more.   This homemade soap cleanses and protects against bacterial spread, helping oily skin and promoting acne relief There is a large variety of goat milk soaps.

Homemade lotion and creams, made with goats milk, are also healthful for skin.  Goat milk is a buffer that leaves skin close to its natural pH level.  It does not strip the skin, instead the acid layer mantle is left intact.  Goat milk has natural, moisture attracting, properties so skin is not left dried out.   Recent studies show that goats milk has anti-aging properties.  It aids in the regeneration of collagen under the skin, negating some of the visible signs of aging.

Goat milk shampoo can help get rid of dandruff and improve scalp conditions.  Goat milk nourishes the skin, hair and scalp.  A homemade shampoo handcrafted with saponified oils, goat milk, pro-vitamin B 5, silk, sugar and oat protein can be very healthful for the hair and scalp.  Hair can be strengthened, shinier, softer, silkier and more manageable.  Split ends can show signs of improvement. Ingredients such as tea tree oil, (melaleuca oil), may be aded for those with, especially, oily hair. Scalp conditions, such as dryness, flakiness and dandruff may begin to subside.  Goat milk, homemade, shampoo can prevent scalp build-up and reduce minor scalp irritations.

So, instead of using commercial products with harsh chemicals or surfactants, you may want to consider using homemade products, instead.  Whether you make the products yourself or find someone who does, overall, you could have healthier skin, hair and scalp conditions.  Discover the healthful benefits of goat milk products.


23 Sep, 2011

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