Skin Nasty Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – Ingredient Info

  • Itchy scalp?
  • Dry itchy skin?
  • Tight feeling skin?
  • Redness?
  • Sensitivity?
  • Mouth ulcers?
  • Dryness around mouth?

If you or your children have any of the above or maybe experience these after a bath/shower or even brushing there teeth, then I would look straight to what ingredients are in the products you are using.

More often than not the second ingredient listed will be Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS for short). This ingredient is a real bug bare for me.  It’s a known skin irritant and I can’t understand why it’s even used in skincare and beauty products at all when there are plant based equivalents, probably because it’s cheap.

SLS is foaming agent and is used in most household cleaning products to remove greasy residues. It can cause skin irritation and also in the long term reduce the skins barrier which is there to stop irritants from penetrating the skin layers. You can also find SLS in toothpaste and this can cause problems around the mouth and inside!

Mr Toby Talbot who is a specialist in restorative dentistry says, ‘If I see a patient suffering with recurrent mouth ulcers, one of the first things I do is prescribe the use of a non-SLS toothpaste,’ he says

Even if you don’t have sensitive skin it can still cause dry itchy skin which is certainly what I found with myself. I suffered with cystic acne for years and once I started looking at ingredients in my skincare SLS and Mineral Oil where common and after I stopped using products with these in, my skin really started to get better. I took more than just removing those but my skin is acne free now..yay me!

I still sometimes use a shampoo with SLS in and I know I have as my scalp itches like no bodies business. There are a lot more products available on the market today than there has been in the past but honestly I’d like to see it scraped as a ingredient in  beauty products although. Am guessing as it’s a cheap ingredient that’s why its still used so much.

To the average consumer that just wants something to clean them and their family with, they aren’t going to look at the ingredients or even know what to avoid. Advertising as natural is enough for some people to be reassured what they are using is good for your skin. I hope more well known brands start to remove this irritating ingredient from their products soon.


Keep a check on my Instagram feed for all the SLS free goodies I find.

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  1. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    The issue is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently
    about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt
    for something concerning this.

    • Thank you for reading. It certainly is something that many people don’t seem aware of. Hopefully skincare brands in the future will address this.

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