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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS ) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
The Killers in your bathroom?

Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos,

detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up".

 Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.

Sodium lauryl sulphate started its career as an industrial degreasant and garage floor cleaner.When applied to human skin it has the effect

 of stripping off the oil layer and then irritating and eroding the skin,leaving it dry and pitted.

SLS and SLES are esters of Sulphuric acid -

In fact, SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane a known carcinogen.

Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much


A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations as low as 0.5% could cause irritation

and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation.

Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called " highly irritating and dangerous ".

So why is a dangerous chemical like sodium lauryl sulfate used in our soaps and shampoos?

The answer is simple - it is cheap. The sodium lauryl sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage,

where it is used to degrease car engines.

In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect.

It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access

 to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.

Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed,

one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen,and may be responsible for a variety

 of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer ,

where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.


Sodium lauryl sulphate causes skin to flake and separate and causes roughness on the skin.

Sodium lauryl sulphate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested.

 Sodium lauryl sulphate has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body.It builds up in the heart ,liver and brain.

PARABENS; What are they ?

Parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.These compounds and their salts are used primarily for their bacteriocidal and fungicidal properties.They can be found in Shampoos,commercial moisturisers,shaving gels as well as toothpaste.They are also used as food additives. Common Parabens include Isobutylparaben,Isopropylparaben,benzylparaben and their sodium salts.

What are their possible effects?

Parabens can cause  classic allergic  contact dermatitis reactions.Sometimes it may be seen as a flare or spread of an existing treated rash.It appears that repeated applications of relatively low concentrations of Parabens in medications and cosmetics may lead to sensitivity.

A study in 2004 from Reading University found higher than average levels of Parabens in breast tumour tissue.They have also been linked to damage of sperm production in males.

MPG (mono Propylene Glycol.)

MPG is apparently relatively non toxic but is a mild irritant.

Propylene Glycol  is a surfactant or wetting agent and a solvent and is the active ingredient in antifreeze.

There is absolutely no difference between what you have in your engine radiator and what is in your toiletries.

In industry it is used to break down protein and cellular structures,but that´s exactly what skin is!

This is classed a toxic substance with recorded instances of brain,liver and kidney abnormalities.