What is Sodium Laurel Sulfate?

Sodium Laurel Sulfate on tan background

Does anyone really know what Sodium Laurel Sulfate is or the effects that it can have on our body and overall health? We may know it’s an ingredient in cleaning products or health and beauty items but most of us probably haven’t really looked into what it can do to the body. I know I never did, it was just an ingredient listed in my everyday products years ago and that was the most I thought about it… until it wasn’t.

Have you ever really looked at the back of a bottle of traditional cleaner that you grew up using and really looked into and researched what each of those long words actually are, or what the side effects are? I’m not saying EVERY ingredient is bad. Water is a common ingredient, and we need that. But a lot of the chemicals used for cleaning are synthetic and can be very harmful to our skin, respiratory system, endocrine system, immune system, and organs in general. 

I talked a little about how much “just a little bit” can add up to here.

I never want anyone to be fearful, my goal is always for you to know, because once you know, you can’t unknow and then you can decide what is best for you and your family. 

There is so much sickness in the world today and I really believe that honestly, by just eliminating some things, it can help our bodies function the way God designed them to. Toxic buildup is a real thing, and it is the cause for so many issues that are labeled “normal” or things that we can’t find answers for. We just know we don’t feel well.

So, what is Sodium Laurel Sulfate?

SLS is most widely used as a foaming agent and is widely used to remove grease off of garage floors… so while yes, it can clean, it also comes with warnings.

It functions in cleaning products as a surfactant and basically works by wetting surfaces to suspend soil so it can be rinsed away.

Foam and Suds don't=clean image on tan background

It is present in shampoos, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleaners, face cleansers, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, bubble baths, bath oils/bath salts, dish soaps and more.

Have you been taught to “need” foam to think “clean”? I know I was. Things suds up, therefore it is being cleaned, right? Think dish soap, bubble baths, shampoo, laundry soap, hand soap, etc… Why do we need it? Well, we really don’t… We “think” we have to have foaming sudsy hair from shampoo and that we need to have a sink full of bubbles in order for it to actually be cleaning our dishes. Or how about scrubbing our bathroom sinks or our toilets, we “think” we need bubbles and suds. And we “think” we have to have foam and bubbles to wash our hands. But what are the effects of the suds?

Pinterest Sodium Laurel Sulfate - What can it do to the body

What are the side effects on the body from using products containing Sodium Laurel Sulfate?

  • It can strip your skin of their natural oils which will cause dry skin.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Developmental and reproductive toxicity
  • Can contribute to cellular changes
  • Organ toxicity.
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Irritating to the eyes
  • Can cause eczema and dermatitis
  • It can clog pores and cause acne
  • Can cause lung and respiratory issues
  • When used in toothpaste, it can remove the protective layer present in soft tissues of the mouth. This can result in ulceration of soft tissues such as: gums, lining of the inner cheek, lips and tongue.
  • It can cause inflammation.
  • SLS is also toxic to aquatic organisms.
  • It can stay in the body for up to five days.

When absorbed by the skin it is delivered into your blood stream. It bypasses your built-in protective filtration process so you are absorbing it at more concentrated levels.

We NEED to re-wire our thinking. Foam and bubbles do not equal clean.

Things we need to think about…

Friends, we don’t have to use these harsh ingredients in order to clean and you don’t have to have foam in order to be clean. There is so much sickness, illness, cancers, infertility, skin issues, hormone imbalances these days and it’s not normal. It may be common but not normal.  God did not create us to feel sick all the time. He gave us these wonderful bodies and designed them and knit them so intricately to support us and do what they were designed to do, give us life. We have to choose to take care of them though. So many times the products we use are poisoning us and we don’t even realize it unless you really look at your ingredients.  

What can I use instead?

Keep in mind, I am not a doctor, I am just a Mama who loves finding natural options for her family. My education on oils is how our family has used these over the years and the benefits we have seen. You are the gatekeeper of your home and know your family so please keep that in mind while following us on this journey. Also, when speaking about essential oils, we use Young Living in our family and have for over six years. These are the oils that I have researched and feel comfortable with for our family. Not all oils or products are created equal. Ingredients matter.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Thieves Household Cleaner Image and what it does

If you want the easy button, this is what we have used for over 6+ years in our home. It works, it’s safe and it has made a world of difference in our overall health!  One of my favorite parts besides the safety is that it is very concentrated, so with the cleaner concentrate, you only need ONE capful to make a 16 oz. bottle of cleaner! Super budget friendly!

If you would like to follow along with us for more day to day details, tips, tricks and hacks, join me over on Instagram @naturallychaoticlifestyle!

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time!

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  1. Wow! I actually cut this out a while back but I didn’t realize all of the effects it could have! Great and informative article!

  2. Excellent. I’ve been looking into this again and finding it sneaking its way back into my home. Great reminder. Thank you.

  3. There is a huge move away from toxic and chemical products. Thanks for spreading a “new way of thinking”. When people know, then they can make better choices for themselves and their families. Bless you!

  4. This is a great article. Easy to read and informative. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I am glad you brought this to everyone’s attention. We make or use items for our skin with as few ingredients as possible. I also love oils! We have doTerra (came from my home) and Young Living (from my new hubby’s home). You really did your research. I will be pinning this as well! Take care

  6. Nice post. It’s very well organized and quite informative. Stick with it.

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