Cleaning and foaming agents: aggressive SLS
Everyone is familiar with the feeling of dry skin after using some shampoos. SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) is a highly effective tenside (cleaning and foaming agent) used in shampoos and toothpastes.
However, this SLS acts as a very strong degreasant, attacking the cells’ lecithin layer. In the worst-case scenario, the cells die off as they are no longer protected by this lecithin layer. In less serious cases, the skin and mucosa become irritated. There is also a proven connection between ulcer formation and SLS.
One study even reached the conclusion that toothpastes containing SLS should be classified as highly irritating. Trials using hens’ eggs showed that SLS stored in cell membranes results in cells dying off. Further studies reveal the connection between SLS and bleeding gums as well as favouring mouth ulcer formation.
As is always the case, it’s the dosage level that counts. Studies show that SLS in concentrations below 2% is not considered harmful. Why take unnecessary risks?
What is more, this degreasing with SLS also causes dryness, which is noticeable as a slightly unpleasant feeling after brushing.