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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

If you’ve scanned the options in the haircare section recently, you may have noticed an increase of products declaring themselves SLS-free. Before adding another ingredient to your ‘avoid’ list, let’s investigate what SLS actually is, and whether you should be concerned about it featuring in any of your favourite beauty products. 


What Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is a surfactant, a compound that is used to increase the ability of a product to spread and lather. It is most commonly found in shampoo, soap and shower gel, not only helping to create a good transference of the product but playing a role in its cleaning capabilities too. 

SLS is usually derived from either coconut or palm kernel oil because of its high lauric acid content. To the palm oil, sulphuric acid is added and then neutralised using sodium carbonate, all of which processes the lauric acid into SLS. The reliance on palm oil to create SLS is one of the reasons that many brands are moving away from SLS, which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this article. However, despite the admittedly scary-sounding ingredients involved in the process (though we all know by now that acid ≠ bad), SLS is safe to use and has been used in products we know and love since 1930.


How Does It Work?

When it comes to deep cleaning, sodium lauryl sulfate is a fantastic ingredient. As a surfactant which is both water and oil-soluble, nothing stands in its way.  It’s thorough action of trapping oil and water within its foam allows dirt and grease to be lifted and removed, leaving only your squeaky clean skin or hair behind. Of course, along with the grease and dirt, your skin and hair’s natural oils are also removed when using SLS, which is why following up with a conditioner or moisturiser is so essential.


Why Are Companies Moving Away from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Despite SLS being safe to use and a key ingredient in many shampoos and cleaning products, there is a push to move away from its use for a number of reasons. 

The first is the reliance on palm oil as part of the manufacturing process. Palm oil is an ingredient that has strong links to the deforestation of rainforests, which many brands, particularly those with an eco-focus, don’t want to be associated with. 

Second, SLS has been shown to be very drying. While the majority of people can take steps to counteract this, such as by using a conditioner after shampooing, there is a large group for whom SLS is a no-go ingredient. Those with curly, dry or frizzy hair should avoid using products that contain an SLS, as should anyone with dry or irritated skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

The final reason that companies are moving away from SLS is that it’s simply no longer a must-have ingredient in formulating cleansing products. Alternative, gentler surfactants are increasingly available, such as Sodium Coco-Sulfate, which provides the same function as SLS without the need for palm oil or the harsh, oil-stripping properties.


What Products Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Unless you specifically avoid SLS in your purchasing decisions, the chances are high that you’ll already have a large number of products in your home that include SLS. Essentially, anything that lathers and foams as part of its cleaning process will probably contain SLS.

Here are our Sodium Lauryl Sulfate top picks.


Kérastase
Volumifique Bain Shampoo Fine Hair 250ml


Regenerate Original
Advanced Foaming Mouthwash 50ml


TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde
Tween Set: Shampoo 750ml & Reconstructor Conditioner 750ml


Most people can use sodium lauryl sulfate without issue, but as mentioned above, it is best avoided if you have a dry skin type or hair that requires a lot of moisture. 

Was this helpful? If so, you can view all of our Sodium Lauryl Sulfate products and read similar articles at allbeauty.com/Ingredients

REGENERATE Tooth Enamel System: How It Works

The REGENERATE tooth enamel system has been inspired by bone repair technology. We explain the science behind the brand and how easy it is to use.

Thanks to more than nine years of research, enamel erosion is a thing of the past! Find out how Regenerate can help protect your teeth with their scientifically proven, quick and easy-to-use system… 

What is enamel erosion?

regenerate tooth enamelTooth enamel may be the hardest substance in our body, but it suffers from erosion every single day! Erosion is caused by acidic food and drink (even healthy ones!) such as citrus fruits, fizzy drinks and wine.

Did you know? Tooth enamel is harder than bone!

Thanks to its high mineral content, tooth enamel is almost as scratch resistant as diamond (well, half!) and helps to protect teeth from damage.  Unfortunately,  our bodies cannot make more enamel, so once it is lost it cannot be replaced.  Until now! REGENERATE Enamel Science™ is the first system able to regenerate enamel mineral* with exactly the same mineral that tooth enamel is made of.

What are the signs of enamel erosion?

There are many different effects of enamel erosion, including:

  1. Cracking – edges of the teeth begin to crack and feel rough
  2. Yellowing – because of the thinning enamel, the underlying dentine becomes more visible
  3. Transparency – the tips of the front teeth may appear transparent
  4. Grooving – tiny indentations may arise on the surface of the teeth
  5. Sensitivity – as the underlying dentine becomes exposed, you may feel sharp twinges when eating hot or cold food and drink

How does the Regenerate Tooth Enamel System work?

Years of laboratory research – inspired by advanced bone repair technology – have led to the development of the exclusive and internationally patented REGENERATE NR-5™ technology. The first system that can regenerate enamel mineral** with the same mineral that tooth enamel is made of.

Step one:  Advanced Toothpaste (daily use)

Clincally proven to regenerate enamel mineral***, protect against cavitiies, restore original whiteness, with a fresh, minty sensation.

Used daily (ideally twice a day) in place of your usual toothpaste, Advanced Toothpaste begins working right from the start. Every time you use the REGENERATE Advanced Toothpaste, its unique ingredients form a fresh supply of enamel mineral. These then wrap and integrate onto the teeth and regenerate enamel mineral*** with exactly the same mineral your tooth enamel is made

Step two:  Advanced Enamel Serum (3 minutes, 3 days. Once a month)

Each Advanced Enamel Serum Kit contains: 1 x NR-5™ Serum, 1 x Activator Gel and 2 x custom-fit mouth trays plus mixing stick. Simply use the kit on 3 consecutive nights every month before bed, for just 3 minutes, to boost the effectiveness of the toothpaste by 43%**** For best results, use in combination with the Daily Advanced Toothpaste. Refills are available.

You can shop REGENERATE Advanced Toothpaste and REGENERATE Boosting Serum online at allbeauty. If you’ve used REGENERATE or are just excited to try it, comment below and tell us!

*Acts on early invisible stages of enamel erosion. Helps to regenerate enamel by restoring its mineral content and micro hardness with regular use. Clinically proven. **Based on an in vitro test measuring enamel hardness after 3 days combined use of toothpaste and serum. *** Acts on early invisible stages of enamel erosion by restoring its mineral content and micro hardness with regular use. Clinically proven. ***As demonstrated in a 3 day in vitro test measuring enamel micro hardness: Combined use of toothpaste and serum vs. toothpaste only.