Sulphates, also known as sulfates are harmful elements within many personal care items that can be found on the market. We have been hearing a lot of brands recently claiming they are ‘sulphate/sulfate free’, but what does this mean and why should we take caution with products that do contain them?
Pat Hume, founder of natural health and beauty website www.pravera.co.uk, explains why we should be wary of sulfates:
“Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate is a chemical ingredient that creates a foam and it can be found in many every-day products such as shampoos, shower gels, face cleansers and even toothpastes. As many mainstream personal care products contain SLS or SLES, most people have now come to expect a nice foam when they use such products. However, you may not appreciate this lather when you are aware of the health concerns associated with using products that contain Sulfates. First of all, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate is a known skin and eye irritant. It may cause dandruff, dermatitis, cataracts and other skin and eye irritations. Worryingly, the particles of SLS / SLES are so small that they may penetrate the cell membranes and act as a ‘penetration enhancer’, helping other chemicals to follow wherever the tiny Sulfate particles end up in the body. Not only are Sulfates dangerous to our health, they also pose a risk to the environment as it pollutes our groundwater and is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals. Enough reason to opt for safer and kinder products that are Sulfate free. You may find that natural alternatives don’t lather as much, but this is only a small price to pay to preserve your health and the environment. Try affordable and certified brands such as lavera, which deliver great results without containing any cheap and harsh ingredients.”