Monday, September 28, 2009

The Facts on SLS

There has been a lot of talk about dangerous chemicals in our every day products. I have made note of several here on this blog. One of these ingredients is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (also Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). I put it on my list of ingredients to avoid, but I have to say that I wondered about this one. A lot of the natural products I used in the past contained this ingredient and listed the source as "Coconut Derived".

So what is the deal with SLS anyway? Well, it seems that there has been a lot of widespread misinformation out there about this particular ingredient. As a result, many companies who have been using small percentages of coconut-derived SLS have reformulated their products. Have they done this because it is SO dangerous? Not so much. All the hype about SLS has proven to be a distraction, thus hindering sales for some very wonderful, natural companies.

Read what Dr. Andy Weil has to say about it
here. I am officially taking naturally-derived, coconut-based SLS off my list of things to avoid at all cost. Of course, if I don't know the source, I absolutely avoid it. There are some very dangerous chemicals in products to be concerned about, like Triclosan and benzalkonium chloride to name only a couple. Remember to reference the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database if there is an ingredient you want more information about. Get the facts. Know what's in your products. Here's to your health!


  1. Wow, it's like you can read my mind. I have always tried to avoid SLS and have been confused when I see it on "natural" products. So coconut based SLS is really okay? I have to use sensodyne toothpaste because I have really sensitive teeth and if I don't I can tell a big difference. sensodyne has SLS in it. Do you know a good SLS-free toothpaste? What about MSG? That stuff is so hard to avoid because they call it so many different things like autolyzed yeast extract. Sorry for all of the questions, but your blog always gets me thinking.

  2. Yes Jen, it can be overwhelming reading ingredients and trying to figure it all out. Is it safe? Is it not? Well, according to Dr. Andy Weis, coconut based SLS is safe. I still think it is best to only use products that contain it in small quantites...most of my favs no longer contain it. Be sure to avoid if the source is not disclosed!

    I'm actually working on a post about toothpaste...look for it soon. And MSG is not safe. You are right, it is often called by many other names. I will get some research and post that soon as well.