Why does my shampoo contain sodium lauryl sulfate?
SLS contributes to the foaming and lathering properties of products like shampoo and bubble bath. SLS is safe to use in typical use of these types of personal care products, according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) scientific panel. (3) EPA also lists SLS as a safe ingredient in these types of products under normal use. (6)
Why is sodium lauryl sulfate in my toothpaste?
SLS is a common ingredient in toothpaste because it helps it to foam and remove food debris from teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) lists SLS as an ingredient that can help improve oral health. (7)
Is sodium lauryl sulfate bad for you?
Despite some online rumors and misperceptions, government agencies like FDA (4) and EPA (6) have reviewed the safety of SLS and approved its use for a number of consumer applications. In addition, a 2015 study published in the academic, peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Insights found that SLS is safe for normal use in household cleaning products, is not corrosive to a person’s skin under normal conditions, and that its use was not linked to hair loss. (1)
Is sodium lauryl sulfate safe for skin and hair?
SLS is not corrosive to a person’s skin under normal use, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest SLS causes hair loss. (1)
Does sodium lauryl sulfate cause cancer?
There is no scientific evidence supporting that SLS is a carcinogen, according to one recent study. (1) In fact, SLS is not listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), U.S. National Toxicology Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union.
Are “sodium lauryl sulfate-free” products better or safer?
There is no scientific basis to say that SLS-free products are safer than products that contain SLS. Product manufacturers may use “free of” claims to indicate that a product does not contain a certain material, such as SLS, but such claims can be misleading. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has specifically cautioned, “free-of claims may deceive consumers by falsely suggesting that … the marketer has ‘improved’ the product by removing the substance.” (8)
- National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4651417/
- Cosmetic Ingredient Review: https://cosmeticsinfo.org/cir
- Personal Care Products Council: https://cosmeticsinfo.org/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-and-sodium-laureth-sulfate
- FDA: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=172.822
- EPA: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/08/12/E9-19314/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-exemption-from-the-requirement-of-a-tolerance
- EPA: https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-ingredients
- ADA: https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes
- FTC: https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/federal_register_notices/guides-use-environmental-marketing-claims-green-guides/greenguidesfrn.pdf