Urban Myth or Truth? SLS & SLES
We have talked previously about some of the flower and botanical oils that we love - so what about ingredients we choose not to use? And why all the confusion?
We think this is crucial when thinking about what to put on our skins - especially as it is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher from product labels what is in your favourite potions and lotions, the legislation around what can be described as 'organic' being very lax and the word 'natural' can mean that a tiny 1% only of the total ingredients may be natural. As more and more main stream companies cotton on to the fact that organic and natural beauty mean big bucks, so more effort goes into bigging up their green credentials on their labels.*
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and its variants are essentially detergents that are found in a huge proportion of bath and shampoo products on your bathroom shelf. What makes SLS/SLES so appealing to most of us is their ability to form bubbles - they are the principal ingredient in bubble baths and shower gels for that exact reason, and who doesn't love sinking into a bath full of bubbles!
But there is a catch; they are known skin irritants, drying out the skin and causing irritation. They do not effect everyone to the same degree, some individuals will have no problems at all and others will find their skin becomes irritated; you will need to decide what works with your skin. There are milder alternatives on the market, or avoid the SLS completely and plump for one our organic cleansing bars or a luxurious bath oil!
It is also worth pointing out that there are other questions raised over the use of SLS/SLES - everything from concerns over them being contaminated by carcinogenic pollutants, and being damaging to the liver, lungs and immune system. There are also a lot of counter arguments to these, disputing such claims. What we do know is that SLS and SLES can both irritate skin - not all but some. Ultimately there is lots of further discussion out there, and it is up to you to make up your own mind about what you are happy to put on to your own skin.
*At The Rose Tree, for each product that we sell, we stipulate which of our ingredients are organic and give a total organic percentage to make it as clear as possible for you!