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Originally published March 27 2015

Is your soap doing damage? Sodium lauryl sulfate irritates skin and damages pores

by Lance Johnson

(NaturalNews) The market is saturated with different kinds of soap, but many of these commercial brands are really all the same, because they contain a harsh detergent chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This detergent chemical is a rogue emulsifier that removes oil from the hair and skin. SLS is cheap to mass produce for commercial soap-making, but is this ingredient clean or even safe at all? How does it affect your skin?

A seven-member review panel, consisting of experts in dermatology, pharmacology, chemistry and toxicology, reviewed sodium lauryl sulfate. The seven-member panel of experts makes up the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) -- a group that thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The group is independent, and their results are published in open scientific literature.

SLS causes skin irritation that increases with concentration and exposure over time

The CIR found that sodium lauryl sulfate causes irritation in animal experiments and some human experiments. They also found that the greater the concentration of the detergent, the more irritating it became to skin. The CIR only deemed sodium lauryl sulfate safe if the SLS did not exceed 1 percent of a product's formula. How do consumers know how much SLS is used in a soap product?

The questions to ask are, "Should a skin irritant really be added to our soap? Shouldn't soap replenish and heal the skin, not irritate it?"

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Volume 2, Number 7, found sodium lauryl suflate and ammonium lauryl sulfate to be irritants in concentrations beginning at just 2 percent. The patch tests clearly showed that irritation increased as the concentration of SLS increased. The study also found that SLS becomes even more irritating when used over time. It is not a healthy ingredient to lather onto the body's largest organ, the skin.

SLS blocks pores, causes "severe epidermal changes"

The study also found SLS to cause "...severe epidermal changes to the area of the skin of mice to which it was applied" and the study called for further studies to assess potential tumor-enhancing activity of the chemical.

In albino rabbit studies, SLS at 5 percent caused comedones to appear on the mammals. Comedones are blocked pores and damaged hair follicles that lead to severe acne-like whiteheads or blackheads that give skin a rough texture.

Do you still want to buy cheap commercial soap full of this irritating, skin-damaging chemical? Shouldn't real soap be made with ingredients that nourish, replenish and heal the skin?


About the author:
Passionate about holistic wellness, Lance Johnson and his wife invite you to, where you can buy clean, chemical-free body care products.

Passionate about holistic wellness, Lance Johnson and his wife invite you to, where you can buy clean, chemical-free body care products.

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