Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: How Toothpaste
and Shampoo Are Harming Your Health
Do you enjoy a shampoo with a rich lather? A shaving cream that
really foams? How about relaxing in a tub full of bubbles? These
may seem like some of lifes simple, innocent pleasures
you look at WHAT is causing all that foam and lather. Once you
find out, you may decide its not so simple or pleasurable
Check the labels of your shampoo, soap, facial cleanser, shaving
cream, body wash, or shower gel: Do you see either Sodium Lauryl
Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) listed? Or one
of their cousins: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate,
etc.? Most manufacturers use these anionic detergents because
they produce a lot of foam very inexpensively. But SLS is so strong
that its also used to scrub garage floors. Worse, it has
been proven to cause cancer in the long run. And the American
College of Toxicology says SLS stays in the body up to five days.
Other studies show it easily penetrates the skin and enters and
maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and
the brain. Yet SLS is found in most cleansing, foaming productseven
in some toothpastes!
Most people selling products with this and other harmful ingredients
really just don't know. The FDA has a GRAS list (Generally Regarded
As Safe), and almost everything is on there, so most people selling
these products just focus on the marketing hype and what the product
is supposed to do for skin (clean it, make it feel soft, etc.).
Sadly, of the 7000 ingredients used on the skin, only 5-6 have
been tested for LONG-TERM safety, and none have been tested TOGETHER.
Currently, 125 are strongly suspected carcinogens, 20 cause adverse
nervous system reactions, and 25 are connected to birth defects.
So why exactly is SLS so bad?
Here are what tests show about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:
* SLS PENETRATES EYES AND TISSUES: Tests show that SLS can penetrate
into the eyes as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver,
etc.) and shows long-term retention in those tissues. Especially
when used in soaps and shampoos, there is an immediate concern
relating to the penetration of SLS into the eyes and other tissues.
This is especially important in infants, where considerable growth
is occurring, because a much greater uptake occurs by tissues
of younger eyes, and SLS changes the amounts of some proteins
in cells from eye tissues. Tissues of young eyes may be more susceptible
to alteration by SLS.
* SLS FORMS NITRATES: When SLS is used in shampoos and cleansers
containing nitrogen-based ingredients, it can form carcinogenic
nitrates that can enter the blood stream in large numbers. They
can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf
similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions.
* SLS PRODUCES NITROSAMINES: (potent carcinogens that cause
the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-contaminated
food like hot dogs or lunch meat) Dr. David H. Fine, the chemist
who uncovered NDELA contamination in cosmetics, estimates that
a person would be applying 50 to 100 micrograms of nitrosamine
to the skin each time he or she used a nitrosamine-contaminated
cosmetic. By comparison, a person consuming sodium nitrate-preserved
bacon is exposed to less than one microgram of nitrosamine.
* SLS STRIPS MOISTURE AND OIL FROM THE SKIN: According to the
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, SLS produced skin and hair
damage, including cracking and severe inflammation of the derma-epidermal
tissue. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein-denaturing
* SLS IRRITATES SCALP AND MAY PROMOTE HAIR LOSS
* SLS CAN DAMAGE DNA IN CELLS: according to Japanese studies.
Whats more important: the foam or your health?