Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – A Giant No No

Go through all your cosmetics, creams, lotions, shampoos and toothpaste. If any of them contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), pitch them out. SLS damages your skin, hair and health.

This additive is definitely not good for our goddesses.

What is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)?

The short answer is it’s a cleaning agent. When it’s slightly chemically modified, it becomes sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) with the E standing for ether. Then it’s used as an emulsifier that gives some creams, lotions and shampoos that nice thick rich look and feel.

Some common synonyms for SLS include sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS, (Sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt), lauryl sodium sulfate, sodium N-dodecyl sulfate and Lauryl sulfate sodium salt.

What products contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate?


  • Soaps
  • Face creams
  • Body lotions
  • Toothpaste
  • Baby creams
  • Baby lotions
  • Shampoos
  • Toothpaste
  • Salves
  • Bubble bath
  • Shower gels
  • Facial cleansers
  • Most anything that cleans is a suspect for SLS
  • Most anything thick and creamy you use on your skin or hair is a suspect for SLES

Why is sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate bad?


SLS and SLES, either directly or indirectly by reacting with other ingredients have been associated with the following:

  • Carcinogens
  • Thinning of skin
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth ulcers (toothpaste)
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin rash
  • Allergies

If it’s so bad, why hasn’t sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate been banned?

You’ll read all sorts of reasons that SLS and SLES haven’t been banned. The truth, according to the Journal of the American Cole of Toxicology, SLS  and SLES are accumulative in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain due to absorption through the skin. The thought is that since such a small quantity is added to skin and personal care products there is no harm. However, when you consider the number of products that contain SLS and SLES coupled with their cumulative properties, one has to wonder what long term effects might be.  A small amount of cumulative toxin in many products over many years can’t be good for your health.

A very important last word

For those of you with babies, take care when you buy creams, lotions and shampoos for your infants. You don’t want to expose them to SLS or SLES. Read labels carefully. You can easily create the skin and hair care products for yourself and your baby that will be perfectly safe and wonderful. After all, we have to all take care of our kids, they’re our future.

Now go have fun and relax.

8 thoughts on “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – A Giant No No

  1. Hy Am Cynthia,am I9 Yrs Old. I Hv Started Using Richie Lotion Which Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Nd D Product Is Really Nice On Me But I Dnt Knw If It’ll Hav An Effect On Me. Pls Should Continue Using It Or Should I Discontinued It?

    1. Hi there guest,

      Thank you for the comment. We always appreciate feedback from our readers. It keeps us on our toes.

      I’ve been slapped enough times for this error that I took it out of the post. Sorry I didn’t do that earlier. I did discover something interesting while making certain that all the remaining facts were correct. SLS is used on the skin to prepare the skin for testing other chemicals. Looks like I’m going to have to dig deeper into the chemistry to fully understand the biochemical mechanisms at play.

  2. I live in Germany and a lot of shampoos still have SLS ranging from typical loreal, herbal essences, all the way to no name supermarket brands. It’s everywhere.

    1. I stand corrected on the European ban.
      You will read that SLS is not carcinogenic. However, according to the Journal of the American Cole of Toxicology, there is evidence that carcinogenic nitrates can form during the manufacture of SLS.
      You may want to check out the toxicology report from that journal here:

  3. It makes me angry that we use products that can harm our health but I’m so appreciative of informative websites that tell the TRUTH! Thank You!

  4. I am shocked and amazed that I never knew how much sls and sles had such bad ingredients for the hair thanks very much!

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