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Harmful Chemicals In Soap

Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS

The most widespread ingredient used to create foam in soap is sodium lauryl sulfate, which is often used in tandem with cocamidopropyl betaine (cocabetaine) and diethanolamine or DEA.  Shampoos, car washes, body gels, dishwasher and laundry detergents, and bar soaps—all of them commonly contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).  Sodium lauryl sulfate augments the permeability of skin by nearly 100 times, which is why it is commonly added to lotions with the aim of allowing micronutrients into the skin. 

But more and more often, possible negative aspects of SLS have been surfacing:

  1. SLS is an important ingredient in toothpaste, contributing to the foaminess and adhesion of the paste.  Studies have shown, however, that SLS irritates the gums—researchers at the University of Oslo reported that sufferers of gum disease were able to alleviate their symptoms 40 times more quickly with non-SLS toothpaste products.
  2. There are reports, which beckon further study, that SLS may permanently harm the eyes of babies.
  3.  SLS may induce hair loss as well as aggravation of the skin and scalp, namely inflammation and cracking of the skin.  Manufacturers even use SLS to test skin lotions by aggravating skin with the ingredient and then observing the counteractive effects of their lotions afterwards.
  4. In rare instances, SLS might increase the risk of bladder cancer.  This occurs in cases of Trucker Syndrome, which effects those who hold urine their bladders for extensive amounts of time.  

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

You probably haven't realized it, but the same chemical that scientists use to agitate skin in experiments is found in many of the household toiletries you purchase at your pharmacy.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is arguably the most hazardous element found in facial cleansers, body washes, shampoos, toothpaste, and soaps. Because of its caustic properties and its proficiency in cleaning oil and grease, SLS is also an integral ingredient in industrial soaps, car-wash detergents, and engine cleaners.

Furthermore, researchers routinely use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate to corrode the skin of animals and humans in the lab. They do this in order to develop products that can then counteract the negative effects of SLS.

Researchers at the University of Georgia Medical College observed the harmful effects of SLS to be manifold. SLS has an exceptional ability to infiltrate and remain in various parts of the body, including the liver, brain, and heart. SLS was found to be especially detrimental to the eyes: in young children, SLS hindered the long-term development of their eyes; in adults, SLS resulted in cataracts. Because it abrades the skin of its protective surface rather than simply cleaning it, SLS can also induce rashes, skin infections, and hair loss.

Perhaps even worse is the close proximity of SLS to potentially reactive substances, which are often found in skin-care products. SLS reacts with these substances to form nitrosomines, or nitrates. These are, believe it or not, possible cancer-inducing carcinogens which, when teamed up with the extremely penetrative SLS, can permeate your skin and body.

(Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate or SLES, is related to SLS in that they share many properties. SLES has a higher propensity for foaming.)

To avoid SLS and many other chemicals, we recommend Fundamental Earth personal care products such as their natural shampoo and natural face wash.

Parabens are another dangerous chemical found in many soaps. For more information, click here.

Why Vermont Soap Is Different

At Vermont Soap Organics, all of the products are free of sodium lauryl sulfates and other detergent-based foaming agents.

While soap has existed for centuries, foaming agents showed up on the scene less than 100 years ago.  It is pretty clear what is natural and what isn't, although the fact that a 16 billion dollar industry is staked on foamy soaps will make it difficult to convince many people otherwise.  Vermont soap handmade soaps are just plain good for you and your skin.  You should give them a try.  You will find castile-based cleaners and soaps much milder than detergent-based products.  And as a corollary, we also suggest you try castile-based fruit and veggie wash.  If you use this regularly on your foods, it will get rid of topical pesticide residues, waxes, and microorganisms from your delicious meals.

Don't use harmful chemicals. Buy Vermont Soap products.

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