What is SLS?
We continue with our story of why we create our oral care products without artificial ingredients.
This week it’s about SLS, which unfortunately has nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz AMG!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and similar compounds are artificial detergents used in personal care and household cleaning products. Its primary function is to dissolve oil, grease and dirt, and trap it in the foam it creates, to improve the cleaning process.
SLS makes the lovely bubble in your bath, foams your shampoo and froths up your mouth when you brush.
It’s cheap, effective and fun.
So what’s the problem?
The truth about SLS
The truth is SLS is a harsh foaming agent capable of disrupting your natural protective epidermal water barrier. It strips the skin of its natural oil barrier resulting in skin irritation and dryness. This makes skin more prone to eczema, dermatitis and the scalp to overproduce sebum. So now you know why you need to wash your hair so frequently.
A study showed that it took 16 days for the skin to heal and regain normal hydration levels after discontinuing use of products that contain SLS.
In laboratories, SLS is used as a reference indicator of how irritating to the skin an ingredient is.
Oral care products containing SLS can cause hypersensitive reactions, will aggravate oral fungal infections and increase the severity of canker sores.
SLS and your morning cup of coffee
It is well documented that SLS temporarily deregulates the functioning of taste buds. Try drinking a glass of orange juice straight after brushing your teeth, and compare the taste again in the afternoon. Not only does SLS suppress the receptors on our taste buds that pick up the sweet notes, but it also breaks up the fatty molecules that keep bitter tastes from being too bitter. So just after brushing, sweet is not so sweet and bitter is very bitter.
Alternatives to SLS
We do not want to take away the pleasure of bubble baths but would like you to consider alternatives.
You can use old fashioned soap, clay and new generation sulfate-free foaming agents to wash your skin and hair, offering the same results but without adverse side effects.
If you like your toothpaste to foam look for naturally-derived surfactants like; cocamidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucoside, and sodium cocoyl glutamate. Alternatively, go for non-foaming oral care products like Olgani’s range.
We encourage you to take the time to read labels and make an informed choice.