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Can 16 000 Studies of SLS Be Wrong?

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is the most commonly used foaming agent in baby care and cosmetic products. Variations include Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS). These ingredients have been shown in over 16 000 studies,

to have a long list of nasty unintended consequences on human health (Irritation of the skin and eyes; organ toxicity; developmental/reproductive toxicity; neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption; ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes; possible mutations and cancer*).

The reason SLS is so popular is because it cleans so well. It is a key ingredient in dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent, after all. There is a point however, at which “cleaning” so well is not good for the skin. Stripping the skin of natural oils, raising the pH and disrupting the natural microbes living on the surface of the skin, all create a stressed skin that struggles to normalise. The skin has a natural barrier which protects it from every day stressors, so constant stripping of the skin through strong surfactants disrupts this natural barrier and affects the skin’s normal function. The result: dry, itchy skin; eczema, psoriasis, red and inflamed areas on the skin, an overall unhappy skin. It’s perhaps time we all rethink the concept of ‘squeaky clean’!

The increase in people with “sensitive skin” is no doubt a direct result of this chemical burden. And these are the short term effects we can see. Add to this the fact that there is is a serious lack of long-term studies. We really don’t even know yet what the long-term effects are.

Pure Beginnings uses a mild surfactant derived from Coconut Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, as it does not disrupt the skin’s natural barrier function. If you choose just one natural product for your baby from the beginning, choose a gentle product for bathing.