One of the best forms of self-love is pampering your skin. Skincare works like a stress buster and you can feel the rush of good hormones releasing. There are countless ways to make your skin feel soft and loved. However, there may be some unfriendly ingredients in your product that are more likely to make your skin unhappy. Sulphates is one such ingredient that had a wide usage in personal care products, but it has lost its good reputation over the time.
We are here to make it easy to understand what are sulphates and how they went from friends to foe for your skin.
What are sulphates (Sodium Lauryl sulphates)?
Sodium Lauryl sulphates is an anionic surfactant. When dissolved in water, it forms heavy foam and bubbles to remove the dirt, impurities, and oil residues. This surfactant is included almost in every cleansing product like
- laundry, detergents,
- dishwasher detergents,
- face washes,
- body cleansers,
- shampoo etc.
SLS can be present in your products by different names like
- Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate
- SLSA (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate)
- Disodium / Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
- Decyl glucoside
- Lauryl glucoside
Uncovering the truth about sulphates in skincare products
1. Induce dryness and irritation on skin
People with acne-prone or sensitive skin have rather more chances of developing breakouts than normal skin type. Even worse, while using skincare products formulated with sulphates, they tend to snatch all the moisture and natural oil from the skin. This ultimately causes dryness leading to inflammation, redness, acne, and other skin woes.
2. Worsen existing eczema and skin allergies
You may want to avoid products with SLS, if you have sensitive skin or have a history of atopic dermatitis (eczema), rosacea, and psoriasis. Clinical research studies have noticed that this foaming agent causes more damage to your skin barrier, which can trigger existing symptoms of eczema and allergies like inflamed and red skin.
3. Damage your hair and scalp skin
This foaming agent is widely used in the formulation of hair shampoos. Numerous research studies have concluded that frequent use of sulphates based hair products can be damaging to overall hair health. The reason is sulphates rob off the natural hair oil and sebum while cleansing the dirt and impurities from your hair. This further leads to dehydrated, rough, and frizzy hair.
Another downside of sulphates in hair cleansing products is that they disturb the scalp's oil balance. This eventually leads to a dry, irritated, and itchy scalp.
If you are looking to exclude sulphates from your skincare routine, here are a few great alternatives for you
1. Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic fatty acid derived from coconut oil. Being procured from natural sources, it has great hydrating properties which makes it less drying than other surfactants.
2. Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate
It is a great alternative to sulphates and other harsh surfactants that strip away natural oils from the skin. Due to its mild and gentle cleansing action on the skin, it is used in face cleansers, shampoos, and baby shops.
3. Disodium Cocoamphrodiacetate
Disodium Cocoamphrodiacetate is also a mild cleansing agent present in many skincare and hair products. It works to dissolve the dirt and impurities into the water and remove them away.
Being a consumer, it is your right and responsibility to choose the best for yourself. Both SLS and SLES are banned by the European Union after acknowledging their adverse effects.
Hence, cosmetic product manufacturers are required to evaluate the safety concerns of ingredients before using them in product manufacturing. While buying your personal care products, you should always pay attention to know its ingredients. Also, find out the best and mild alternatives like Zinc PCA which is an active ingredient that retains the moisture of the skin.
Apart from sodium lauryl sulphates, cosmetic chemists reveal that phthalates and parabens are frequently used chemicals in skincare and hair care products that harm your hair, scalp, and body as well. While buying your personal care products, you should always pay attention to know which ingredients it contains.