S.L.S. please someone help me…

I know it’s S.O.S., but this is a beauty/health blog, so bear with me.

It’s cold(er) out there and for us ‘dryfaces’ it’s not our most favorable season.

So it bothers me that our most important mug-regimen–washing our faces every evening–could be doing us more harm than good in some cases.

Yeah, for reals…

I’ve posted about my gripes with the dermie’s fav face wash in the past, but this time I’m targeting a single ingredient. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is usually talked about in reference to shampoos and we all know that it’s bad news for our hair (esp. if colored).

So what is SLS (or SDS or NaDS, etc.)?

It is an anionic surfactant used in many cleaning and hygiene products.

WTF? Sounds frightening…

It has been shown to irritate the skin of the face with prolonged and constant exposure (more than an hour) in young adults. SDS may worsen skin problems in individuals with chronic skin hypersensitivity, with some people being affected more than others. In animal studies SDS appears to cause skin and eye irritation.

Awesome. Sounds terrible…

Why is it used? It’s all about the foam. Yep, it’s a foaming agent that for some reason indicates “clean” and “fresh” when we use shampoo, face wash, body wash, even toothpaste. Love the lather? I suggest you leave it.

Okay, time for alternatives. Currently, I’m using Tatcha’s One Step Camellia Cleanser, which is amazing. It’s free of all Sulfate Detergents as well as Mineral Oil, Parabens, Synthetic Fragrances, etc., etc.

Before that I used a face wash that contained SLS for years which was a big culprit in my dry skin drama, so I am limited with recommendations. But TypeF.com has a handful of recommendations (I love Dr. Haushka and Nude Skincare).

And remember…SLS has a number of aliases so do your homework if you want to avoid the stuff!