Is Sodium Laureth Sulfate Dangerous?

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), an accepted contraction of sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in numerous personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and so on). SLES is an inexpensive and very efficient lathering agent. SLES, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are utilized in many cosmetic products for their cleaning and emulsifying properties. They act similarly to soap.

A typical component in personal care items, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an additive that allows cleaning items to foam. SLS is a “moderate threat” that has actually been connected to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin inflammation and endocrine interruption.

SLS Definition

SLS is an emulsifier and lathering agent typically used in cosmetic items and commercial cleaners. SLS is present in the majority of body washes, soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and laundry detergent. Although SLS is derived from coconuts, it is polluted with a poisonous byproduct throughout the manufacturing process.

Known Types of Sodium Laureth Sulfate

SLS may likewise be noted as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl.

Associated chemicals include sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES, which has a higher lathering ability and is somewhat less irritating than SLS. Ammonium lauryl sulfate, or ALS, resembles SLS and poses comparable dangers.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Toxicity

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review reports that SLS, SLES and ALS are irritants at concentrations of 2 percent or greater, and recommends that cosmetic products must not contain concentrations greater than 1 percent. Undiluted SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, in addition to queasiness, vomiting and diarrhea if consumed. reports that SLS and SLES are frequently infected with 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing procedure that is “potentially carcinogenic to human beings” and may also cause negatives impacts in the kidneys, liver and central nerve system.


The majority of research studies performed on SLS involve feeding pure SLS to animals or applying it straight to their eyes. Exposure of this sort is not normally experienced through normal cosmetic use. Nevertheless, research studies involving the long-lasting cumulative results of ongoing SLS exposure are doing not have. Since your body does not have the enzymes needed to break down particular chemicals, enabling them to build up with time, consumer advocacy groups such as the EWG encourage using SLS-containing products with caution.


If you are worried about the possible results of SLS accumulation, search for hair shampoos, toothpastes and other personal care products marked “SLS complimentary.” An associated product referred to as sodium coco sulfate, which is likewise a coconut derivative, may be less irritating than SLS or SLES, according to Try to find hair shampoos made with necessary oils, or wash your hair with baking soda.

How to Replace Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

An ingredient in individual health items considering that the 1940s, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant. As a surfactant, SLS increases the cleaning and foaming action of hair shampoos, bubble bath, body washes and tooth paste. The SLS Material Safety Data Sheet, released by the University of Maryland, reveals that this chemical is an eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant. Researchers at the University of California took a look at the impacts of SLS on human skin and reported considerable irritation. The article, published in 2005 in the journal “Contact Dermatitis,” found that SLS caused short-lived redness and dryness of the skin at concentrations as low as 0.025 percent. Sodium cocosulfate, made from coconut oil, can be utilized as a replacement for SLS in your beauty product dishes.

  1. Create a moisturizing body wash with a velvety lather using sodium cocosulfate. Change SLS with sodium cocosulfate utilizing a component ratio of 7 percent sodium cocosulfate. To puts it simply, the amount of sodium cocosulfate used will equal 7 percent of the total weight of all the ingredients.
  2. Combine disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate with sodium cocosulfate to produce a shaving cream devoid of SLS. This solution uses ingredient ratio of 6 percent sodium cocosulfate and 52 percent disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate by weight. This shaving cream has a creamy consistency and is perfect for tube dispensing.
  3. Create a tooth paste devoid of SLS using sodium cocosulfate as the main lathering and cleaning agent. Replace SLS with sodium cocosulfate using a component ratio of 0.6 percent sodium cocosulfate by total weight.
  4. Produce visually clear, SLS-free soap by integrating sodium cocosulfate with propylene glycol, cocamidopropyl betaine and an amphoteric, such as sodium cocoamphoacetate. Used in mix, these active ingredients will enable the generally cloudy sodium cocosulfate to produce a clear product.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sodium cocosulfate
  • Component weight scale

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