What is Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Revealing the Secrete in 2021

Sodium Laureth Sulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate is one of the ingredients that you find on te shampoo bottle. If you are not a chemist then probably you may not heard of it. This is the chemical that is also found in many cleaning as well as beauty products but the chemical is one of the most frequently misunderstood one.

A variety of myths are attached to this chemical like it can cause cancer, skin irritation and other diseases. However, in this article we will try to uncover secretes of the sodium laureth sulfate.

How Sodium Laureth Sulfate works?

Sodium lauryl sulfate is also know as surfactant or SLS. This mean that it is an ingredient that lower the surface tension between ingredients. So, this is the reason why it is used in the cleaning as well as foaming agent.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is present in many different beauty and self-care product so that is why people are much concerned about this chemical. The chemical is also widely found in the common household cleaners.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate or SLES is also a surfactant and it has similar chemical formula but you need to keep in mind that the SLES can cause mild or less irritation than SLS.

How Can You Locate Sodium lauryl sulfate

There are variety of products that include Sodium lauryl sulfate. You can look for the chemical in the beauty products, shampoo, soap and other such things. This chemical is used in variety of products that include

  • Beauty Products: The beauty products such as shaving cream, hand sanitizer, lip balm, makeup remover, foundation, nail treatments, liquid hand soap, facial cleansers and so on.
  • Hair Products: You can find this chemical in shampoo, hair dye, conditioner, dandruff removers, and styling gel.
  • Dental Care: You can also find this chemical in dental care products such as toothpaste, teeth whiteners, and mouthwash
  • Bath Products: Bath Products such as oils, salts, body wash and bubble bath
  • Creams as well as lotions: You may also find Sodium lauryl sulfate in hand creams, face masks, anti-itching creams, hair removals, and sunscreen

Sodium lauryl sulfate is mainly found in the topical products that are directly applied to the skin. Also Sodium lauryl sulfate is being used as a good additive, it is being used as a emulsifier or as a thickener. You can found Sodium lauryl sulfate in dried eggs, marshmallows and other dry beverage bases.

What are the dangers associated with Sodium lauryl sulfate

If we consider Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then you should know that the FDA has regarded as a safe also as a food additive. However, for using it in cosmetics and body products needs research to call SLS to be safe.

According to the search, it was published in 1983 in the International Journal of Toxicology that the SLS is not to be found as harmful is it is used for the skin and for the products like shampoos, soaps, conditioners. However, the report also revealed that more than 1 percent of SLS should not stay on the skin for longer time.

This study also said that there might be possibility that, it might cause risk to the humans who are using the SLS. It was said because of the few tests that found that constant exposing the skin to SLS might cause mild to moderate irritation.

Nevertheless, the final results of the study concluded that the SLS is safe to use in the cosmetic as well as other products. The SLS is considered as safe because they are in that product that risen off quickly so this makes risks minimal.

There are other research works and studies that confirm the fact that it is sage but SLS can be a irritant but it is not considered as a carcinogen. There are also many studies that have shown that the SLS has no relation with cancer.

What does sodium laureth sulfate do to your hair?

Sulfates or SLS are there in the soap because they make great sudsy lather. However, they take away moisture of the hair, and this can make your hair dry. Sulfates can be good for straight hair because the sulfates clean the grease and well as dirt.

However, it does not work for curly hair because they when it takes away the moisture it makes the hair dry and this loses the curl.  Sodium lauryl sulfate SLS might cause minor risks, such as eye irritation, skin irritation, and other toxic if a person consumes the product
what shampoo does not have sodium laureth sulfate?

You may have to check the ingredients of the shampoo to know if that shampoo does not contain sodium Laureth Sulfate. You may find a list of shampoo that can provide you free SLS. There are shampoos like Elle and other brands that you can find online or from the brick-and-mortar store.

Why is sodium laureth sulfate bad for your hair?

It can be bad for your hair if the dryness is the concern, sodium laureth sulfate takes away the moisture and it can make the air to be dry.

Can You Find sodium laureth sulfate in toothpaste?

Yes, toothpaste also contains sodium laureth sulfate but FDA has tested the products and they have seen sodium laureth sulfate to be safe to use.

Sodium laureth sulfate vs sodium lauryl sulfate

SLS is abbreviation of for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and it is also known as SDS, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate. On the other hand SLES is abbreviation of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and it is also known as Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. Both of these products are said to be safe for use by the officials.


Both SLS and SLES are found in many products and you may have used in many times without even realizing that you are using the irritant. However, officials have tasted this chemical and they have found that it is not a threat and you may be able to use it.

However, it is found that SLS as well as SLES are not to be used for the longer time and in the greater amount. Moreover, no relation of SLE and SLES to cancer is found in any study.