I have noticed a growing number of skincare and hair products displaying the message “sulfate free”. Have you? Have you ever wondered why that is? First, what is a sulfate?
Sulfates act as emulsifiers, foaming agents, and detergents in many household cleaning supplies, as well as in many beauty and cosmetic products. One of the most common sulfate compounds found in many skincare products is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS clings to dirt and oils, breaking them down, making them very effective cleaning agents. They are also cheap and easy to produce, the perfect dirt and oil stripping additive.
Perhaps all that sounds helpful, and when it comes to cleaning the dishes – it absolutely is! However, using industrial strength emulsifying detergents on your skin is not so helpful. It is actually a major pore clogging ingredient!!
Toothpastes & Acne?
SLS in your toothpaste can also potentially cause mouth and gum irritation. Even the skin that encounters the foam from toothpaste can be affected, sometimes resulting in inflammation and acne breakouts. This is known as perioral dermatitis. It can also clog pores around the corners of the mouth and nose area as well.
Shampoo & Hair Care Products
In hair care products, SLS can cause major scalp irritation by removing the anti-microbial peptides, proteins, and water-proofing oils our skin naturally creates. This leaves the scalp skin vulnerable to damage caused by microorganisms, free radicals, and allergens. Due to the pore clogging effects of SLS, it can leaving acne around the hairline or neck area. It can also weaken the hair strand itself by causing dryness and frizz.
Work With Your Skin, Not Against It
If you struggle with acne and chronic dry skin and hair, switch to products that are sulfate free. Even if you don’t struggle with these issues, there is still unforeseen damage happening on a molecular level in your skin when sulfates are used. Don’t act against your skin’s natural barriers, work with them to maximize skin protection and achieve the results you are looking for.
Carly @ Austin Skin+