In the cosmetic and hair care industry, the SLS-free label is literally used today as a talisman against sales drop, however, is this reasonable? In this article, we tried to figure out whether there are reasons to give up sulfates in terms of the cosmetic industry.
Sulfates are a class of chemicals with pronounced cleansing and foaming properties. In daily use, many products contain sulfates. Among them are many kinds of shampoos and toothpastes, facial cleansers, and shower gels.
Sulfates are surfactants that help cosmetics mix with water and cause foaming.
On the shampoo label, these substances are indicated as follows:
* SLS - sodium lauryl sulfate or SDS sodium dodecyl sulfate - this sulfate has the strongest cleansing ability compared to other salts and thus can irritate the sensitive skin.
* SLES - sodium laureth sulfate and ALS - (ammonium laureth sulfate) - this ammonium laureth sulfate is considered less aggressive and more gentle for the protective skin barriers.
Why are sulfates bad (are they?)?
Molecules of any surfactant can integrate into the lipid barrier of the skin and weaken it, make it permeable. Anionic surfactants such as SLS and SLES do this especially aggressively: the natural skin barrier is damaged and moisture loss increases. This leads to flaking, irritation, and dehydration of the skin.
However, if you have a normal hair type and a healthy scalp, you have nothing to be afraid of. It’s only enough to use a nourishing hair mask every time after shampooing and regularly do hair smoothing and straightening treatment.