Storewide Event: $50 off $200 or $20 off $100 use code WINK »
Winning Strategies for Your Eyes »

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is an incredibly common ingredient in hair and skin care products. The ingredient is FDA-approved, but has come under fire in recent years, leading some skin and hair care companies to discontinue the use of ingredient in their products. The ingredient has a number of alternate names, which can make it difficult for consumers to spot the chemical on ingredient lists in products. Among these other names are SLS, sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS, docetyl sulfate sodium salt, sodium lauryl sulfate ether and sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt.

Although sodium lauryl sulfate is an organic compound, it is industrially manufactured for use in hair and skin care products. To produce the ingredient, manufacturers begin by extracting lauryl alcohol from either palm oil or coconut oil. Then, the lauryl alcohol is combined with sulfur trioxide gas, a substance that is derived from a very strong acid known as sulfuric acid. The resulting substance is very acidic in nature and would cause damage to the skin if applied in its raw form, making it necessary to add sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate to neutralize the chemical, creating the finished product--sodium lauryl sulfate. In its raw form, sodium lauryl sulfate is either a fine, white powder or a tablet or pellet formed from this powder.

more information

Sodium lauryl sulfate's primary role in hair and skin care products is that of a surfactant, an ingredient that is vital to products designed to cleanse the skin or hair, such as shampoos, facial cleansers, body washes, shower gels and soaps. The purpose of cleansing products is to remove oil and impurities from the hair and skin to keep them clean and healthy. The reason that shampoos and cleansers are necessary is that ordinarily, water does not mix with oily substances and instead, forms beads and rolls off.

As a surfactant, sodium lauryl sulfate is very effective and capable of cleansing even very oily hair or skin.

The mechanism behind this phenomenon is a force known as surface tension, which helps liquids etain the shape of their droplets. Water has a lower surface tension than oily substances, and is therefore unable to disrupt the shape of their droplets to combine with them. When a surfactant like sodium lauryl sulfate is added to water, the ingredient lowers the surface tension of oils and dirt, allowing the water to mix with the substances and then wash them away.

As a surfactant, sodium lauryl sulfate is very effective and capable of cleansing even very oily hair or skin. The ingredient also produces a large amount of foam and suds, which many consumers prefer. The industrial manufacturing process used to create the ingredient is rather inexpensive, which is one of the main reasons for the popularity of the use of sodium lauryl sulfate in the hair and skin care industry. By using the ingredient in their formulas, manufacturers can cut down on costs and, in turn, offer products at a cheaper price. For those looking for an inexpensive hair or skin care product, one that contains sodium lauryl sulfate offers maximum effectiveness at a more affordable price than many products that contain alternative ingredients.

One of the drawbacks to sodium lauryl sulfate is that the ingredient is a known irritant.

One of the drawbacks to sodium lauryl sulfate is that the ingredient is a known irritant. In people with sensitive skin or skin allergies, sodium lauryl sulfate has the potential to cause redness, irritation and swelling. Studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is most likely to cause irritation when left on the skin for an hour or longer, and as a result, it is important to thoroughly rinse the skin or hair after using a product that contains the ingredient to ensure that none of the chemical remains on the skin or scalp.

Another concern regarding sodium lauryl suflate emerged after studies found that the ingredient may have a detrimental effect upon the hair. In one such study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, samples of hair that were exposed to sodium lauryl suflate were studied under a microscope and found to have developed structural flaws in the protective coating of the hair strand, known as the cuticle. In theory, if sodium lauryl suflate is able to damage the cuticle, the ingredient could make the hair more susceptible to split ends and breakage; however, more research is needed to determine the likelihood that sodium lauryl suflate could produce this much damage to the hair.

  

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Products

Sort results by:
Display:        
Transforming Vitamin C for all skin types.
REG $90.50  NOW $81.45
1oz | OB034
In Stock
 
Superior antioxidant protection.
REG $75.00  NOW $67.50
1oz | OB015
In Stock
 
An oil-free cleanser that removes dirt, makeup and excess oil.
$30.00
6.7oz | GT022
In Stock
 
Gently clean your skin with this non-drying lotion.
$21.60
8oz | DV010
In Stock
Improve the texture of dry or damaged skin with this effective glycolic treatment.
$40.00
1.5oz | GD035
In Stock
 
Dissolves blackheads and unclogs pores.
$38.00
4oz | GD006
In Stock
 
Pure and gentle foaming formula with skin soothing benefits.
$33.00
5oz | KE092
In Stock
 
Medically proven medication that can dramatically assist in clearing acne lesions.
REG $33.00  NOW $26.40
4oz | JM014
In Stock
Effective in minimizing open blackheads.
REG $33.00  NOW $26.40
4oz | JM013
In Stock
 
Seal in the skin's natural moisture - Ideal for normal to dry skin.
$36.00
1.5oz | GD010
In Stock
 
This cleanser helps to keep skin clear of acne blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads.
$32.00
6.7oz | GT023
In Stock
 
A German wildflower bathing ritual that benefits women's overall health.
$40.00
4 oz | KF046
In Stock
Alleviate the appearance of dryness with mid-strength glycolic lotion for the hands and body.
$39.00
8oz | GD021
In Stock
 
Helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks.
$17.00
1oz | BA001
In Stock
 
Awaken your senses and make your white smile sparkle.
$16.00
3.5oz | GS006
In Stock
 
Improve the texture of dry or damaged skin with this glycolic treatment.
$34.00
1.5oz | GD007
In Stock
Whitens, repairs and protects teeth and gums.
$16.00
3.5oz | GS007
In Stock
 
Recommended for oily skin this cleanser removes impurities and excess oil.
REG $35.00  NOW $31.50
8oz | AK002
In Stock
 
Improve the texture of dry or damaged skin with this glycolic treatment.
$38.00
1.5oz | GD008
In Stock
 
This nighttime face lotion softens lines, minimizes discoloration and smoothes skin.
$34.00
4oz | GD001
In Stock
Helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks.
$10.00
0.5oz | BA034
In Stock
 
Removes dirt, debris, makeup and excess oil with 2% Salicylic Acid.
REG $38.00  NOW $34.20
OB055
In Stock
 
Leave your skin soft while slowing the regrowth of hair with this cream.
$15.00
4.4oz | EJ003
In Stock
 
Provides relief from itching, inflammation and rashes.
REG $57.00  NOW $51.30
2 oz | OB010
In Stock
This non-foaming cleanser deep cleans skin without irritation or over-drying.
$40.00
8oz | SQ001
In Stock
 
A conditioning formula that softens and helps to eliminates calluses.
$29.50
12oz | BA063
In Stock
 
Lavish your color daily with the indulgence of Technician Color Care Shampoo.
$20.00
8oz | FF133
In Stock
 
A one-step hair removal cream for fuzz on the face.
$24.00
0.5oz | BS228
In Stock
Stimulate your senses in the AM and PM while making your white smile sparkle.
$30.00
2 x 3.5oz | GS005
In Stock
 
Remove dirt, oil and unclog pores with this cleanser for the face, back and chest.
$10.00
5.5oz | ST027
In Stock
 
Soften and help to eliminate calluses while healing chapped areas of the feet.
$19.50
4oz | BA004
In Stock
 
Powerful botanicals dissolve away oil and debris without over-drying.
$35.00
3.5oz | BT080
In Stock
An eye cream designed to prevent drooping in the eyelid and eyebrow areas.
$44.00
0.5oz | TH046
In Stock
 
Formulated for oily skin.
$10.00
3.4oz | AH049
In Stock
 
Transform your bath into a marine hydro-therapy experience.
$30.00
10.58oz | MO064
In Stock
 
Refines the texture of the skin.
$34.00
1.70 oz | SY011
In Stock
A luxurious, cream textured makeup remover, cleanser and exfoliator.
$47.00
6oz | DD140
In Stock
 
A multi-function broad spectrum scalp sunscreen SPF 30.
$25.00
4oz | QS010
In Stock
 
This popular, award-winning hand cream moisturizes hands for up to eight hours.
$21.00
2.3oz | EA015
In Stock
 
Exfoliates dead and dull skin cells, deep cleans and removes impurities.
$28.00
12oz | AN140
In Stock
Luxurious and conditioning to help eliminates calluses while healing chapped areas of the feet.
$12.00
2.5oz | BA022
In Stock
 
This delicately fragranced body cleansing foam will make you melt with pleasure.
$15.00
6.76oz | NX079
In Stock
 
Weekly cleansing treatment for your nails and cuticles.
$36.00
8 treatments | TL024
In Stock
 
This ultra-rich and lubricating shaving formula enables a super-smooth shave every time.
$20.00
5oz | GR003
In Stock
#1 Dermatologist prescribed acne wash formula now available without a prescription.
$10.00
6oz | ST050
In Stock
 
The ultimate guy product - one product that does the job of three. For face, hair, and body.
$9.50
3oz | JA018
In Stock
 
This creamy cleanser deep cleanses and regenerates skin at the cellular level.
$6.00
5oz | OA020
In Stock
 
The ultimate guy product - one product that does the job of three. For face, hair, and body.
$15.00
6oz | JA016
In Stock
Display:        

Sale — While They Last »
Smart Shopping — Beauty Center
Avobenzone – Key Ingredient
FREE FatGirl Six Pack ($38 Value). Details »
FREE Whitening Antioxidant Toothpaste Superberry ($15 Value). Details »
Skin Care Regimen »
My Payment Methods — Easily Pay on the Go »

help

about

share

HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
BBBOnLine Reliability Seal
TRUSTe online privacy certification
Stella Service
SEE ALL    
SEE ALL