The Skin We’re In: The Final Chapter

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

By Melanie Melugin
Author of Going Green with Noah
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In our final week of investigating the components of the products that we use on our skin each day, we will finish with a discussion on Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate.  SLS, or SLES, is added to many of our shampoos, toothpastes, tooth whiteners, hair coloring products, body washes, liquid hand soap and even some candy.

It’s purpose it to create the wonderful lather that we all so very much enjoy, but did you know that it is regulated as a pesticide?1

There is debate on the effects of this additive on our health, but once again it is simply a matter of awareness and the decisions that you choose to make in your own home.

Does sodium lauryl sulfate pose a significant cancer risk?   No.

It is considered an irritant, though, and is a suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxicant.  Ever wonder why they tell you not to swallow toothpaste?

According to the National Toxicology Program, it has shown moderate reproductive effects in experiments.

So, all in all, should we be worried?  We should always be worried.  Every small step that we can take to better our health should be taken.  This does not mean that you need to throw everything out, but if you can find alternatives for your regular brands the next time that you are at the store – try it!

1 – http://www.care2.com/greenliving/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-based-shampoos.html#

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