Touché Tho’lle #7
Touché Tho’lle #7 Edition
Taking the SLES out of SOAP!
SLES is found in many household detergents and personal care products, but what is it and should it be avoided? It is an acronym for Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate and is found in many day-to-day products. As a chemical product SLES is relatively inexpensive to produce and is an exceptionally well performing surfactant (foaming agent). Its primary purpose is to create foam in personal care and detergent products. It is found in shampoos, soaps, body wash, facial cleansers, washing powders and dishwashing soaps. There is no middle ground to SLES, the companies that use SLES promote that there is no risk to the product and that it is completely safe to use, while those on the cautionary side of the scale fiercely oppose its use. In fact there is an entire website dedicated to giving the consumer a broad selection of SLES free products.
SLES works exceptionally well as a degreaser (you will notice this in your washing up soap). The higher the quantity and quality of the SLES the better it degreases your basin full of dishes. Similarly though, you will find that higher dosage of SLES may also mean that your hands feel a lot drier after washing up. This is because it is such an effective degreaser that it also degreases the oils in your hands (and so too your body and hair when you use it as a personal care product). There are very few commercially available personal products that do not contain SLES, even the most creamiest and moisturising products contain SLES. But is this a reason to avoid it. While many claims act the product is an irritant and can agitate the skin, there is no conclusive evidence between SLES and any disease or illness. However, even without substantiating facts, many authors suggest that it is necessary for one to avoid SLES completely. As a natural based company, we agree.
While Tho’lle research cannot present any conclusive information, we have read enough to make us question the need for it in personal care and detergent products as there are natural alternatives which work much the same. Our preferred surfactant product is Lauryl Glucoside which is derived from glucose. This is our better version of the chemical processed SLES. While Lauryl Glucoside still needs to undergo a chemical process to be made, the bulk component ingredient is glucose as opposed to SLES which is based on an acid. And while we cannot with conviction guard against SLES (or SLS), we have no need or want to use it. It can be difficult to avoid SLES from your home and bathroom as it is found in so many common household products and often alternatives re not readily available or they are perceived to be far more expensive.
You will know from your own experience from household and personal care products, which have a drying effect on you and you can associate that tightness with SLES. You may want to take extra precaution and avoid products containing SLES if you have a sensitive skin, or problem skin (such as ache and eczema), if you have had a reaction to products containing SLES and if you want to venture into using more natural products. Our products are SLES and Parabens Free and we continue to build our range to provide high-quality natural alternatives. Why, because you deserve it and our planet needs us to.