Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bad word of the day: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Hazard Score: (EWG Risk Score)

Hazard score key:

Low hazardModerate hazardHigh hazard
What is it?
A  surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier. 

Where is it found?
It is used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils/bath salts.

The Risk:
According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews, research studies have shown links to:
  • Irritation of the skin and eyes
  • Organ toxicity
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
  • Possible mutations and cancer
It has also been linked to nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are potent carcinogens that cause your body to absorb nitrates, which are known to be carcinogenic as well. 

(Nitrosamines are graded a level 6 on the EWS Hazard Score)

A couple "natural" companies using this ingredient:
  • Tom's of Maine
  • LUSH
  • many small "all natural",  "Eco-friendly" toting companies on Etsy
My Opinion:
Although it originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural. What bothers me so much are companies that mislead their customers and make up excuses as to why it's in their products. Like telling someone, "well it's for lather"  makes it okay to use?

This chemical actually removes oils from the skin and can cause skin and eye irritations. 

So again this week I ask you, "Why would you put a chemical in products that come in direct contact with your skin and hair (and possibly eyes - we all have those days where we get some shampoo in our eyes!) that have warnings on them to 'prevent contact with the skin and eyes'"