Ever since commercial brands started marketing their products to be free of SLS, it increased people’s awareness of avoiding to use any products that contain SLS, but do you actually know what SLS is? Or why it is bad and why should it be avoided?
What is SLS?
It is an acronym of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. It is a chemical agent that is generally used for cleaning, and can easily be found in consumer products such as toothpaste, shampoos, body wash, floor cleaners, dish soap etc, the list goes on and on!
Now, I’m sure everyone loves a bubbly shower or bath, and sometimes feel like you have a thorough shower only when you see more bubbles thinking it makes you feel squeaky clean. Well, that used to be me. But after knowing that it is actually SLS that is giving the “bubbles”, I stopped seeking to have a bubbly shower.
Why did I stopped using products that contain SLS, and why you should as well?
Here’s a list of a few reasons why you should stop using SLS:
- SLS is a known irritant. Continuous use of SLS can trigger a reaction and cause itchiness, redness, and irritant as SLS can penetrate the skin, which makes it more vulnerable to the absorption of foreign irritants (SLS/ mineral oil etc), in other words, it can help other chemicals to get in your body, meaning it can help other chemicals such as Triclosan, Mineral Oil to get into your body (OH MY!). In contact with these irritants would cause skin allergies to flare up, and has the potential to cause dermatitis.
- SLS is commonly used to kill plants and insects. It is actually a pesticide and herbicide. It kills plants and kills insect, imagine what it would do to you when you’re exposed to large amounts of it!
- SLS emits toxic fumes when it is heated. According to PubChem, when heating SLS to decomposition, it emits toxic fumes of sulfur oxides and sodium oxides.
- SLS is bad for the environment. It pollutes groundwater and is toxic to fishes and other aquatic animals. It has the potential to bioaccumulate in bodies of fishes (meaning it would accumulate in the bodies of fishes), showing that SLS may be found in the fishes that we consume. OH NO.
- SLS emits cancer-causing compounds. To manufacture SLS, it is highly polluting as it emits cancer-causing volatile organic compounds and air particulates. It is so bad for those who manufacture the SLS, so why continue to support the use of SLS when it is so bad for people’s health?
According to Augustin 2016, the Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) lead activist Nadzim Johan mentions that, along with Triclosan, SLS should be banned in Malaysia as it could cause adverse health effects on consumers.
Not only SLS is bad for your skin, but it is shown to be bad for your health and the environment! These are reasons why I chose to stop using SLS and stop supporting brands that have products that contain SLS.
Just turn to the back of the label ingredient of the beauty product and run through the ingredient list. Be a smart, informed consumer and choose to be truly clean by cutting SLS out of the lives of yours and your loved ones.