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Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare Products: Sulphates

Updated: May 10

There's no doubt that we live in a toxic world. But you can help to protect yourself, your family and your skin by choosing products that are free from harmful chemicals.

Man in gas mask and some textabout Sulphates
Sulphates as Toxic Ingredients

One of the most common chemicals found in many personal care products is sulphates, which is a type of detergent used in cleaning and cosmetic products. Sulphates can be found in shampoo, body wash and face wash products, among others.

While they may not seem harmful at first glance, these ingredients can cause serious health problems if left on the skin for too long or ingested internally as part of personal care routines for men or women alike!

Here's what you need to know about sulphates so you can make informed choices when selecting safer skincare alternatives:

What are sulphates?

Sulphates are a family of synthetic chemicals that are used as detergents in many personal care products. They are often used in combination with other chemicals to create foaming agents, which are added to personal care products to give them a rich lather and make them feel as though they're actually cleaning your skin.

Sulphates can be found in many different types of personal care products: Shampoos, soaps and body washes are just some examples.

The main risk associated with using sulphate-containing products is that they can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. This can also make your skin more susceptible to damage from other sources, such as sunburn or windburn.

What health problems can sulphates cause?

If you're familiar with skin care, you may have seen the term "sulphates" pop up on ingredients lists. One of the most significant issues with sulphates is that they can be very harsh on the skin.

They can strip away the natural oils that keep the skin moisturised, leaving it dry, irritated, and prone to redness and itching. This can be especially problematic for people with sensitive or eczema-prone skin.

Additionally, sulphates can cause allergic reactions in some people, leading to itching, redness, and even hives.

Another concern with sulphates is that they can be harmful to the environment. They are known to be toxic to aquatic life, and can contribute to the pollution of rivers and oceans.

Sulphates can be found in many personal care products

In addition to skincare products, sulphates are also found in a number of men's personal care items. These include:

  • Shower gels and soaps

  • Face washes, body washes and shampoos

  • Shaving foams, creams and gels

Sulphates can be found on labels under various names

On product labels, sulphates are usually listed as:

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)

  • Ammonium lauryl sulphate

  • Sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and sodium laureth-2 sulphate (SLES-2)

  • Ammonium laureth sulphate (ALS), ammonium laureth-2 sulphate (ALES)

What are some natural alternatives to Sulphates

If you're looking for an alternative to sulphates containing products, there are several options. Some popular choices include creams, balms, or soaps with castor oil, avocado oil or olive oil.

However, it's not just about sulphate-free products, it's also about what else they don't normally contain: parabens (which can mimic oestrogen), synthetic fragrances that could trigger allergies or asthma symptoms for some people with allergies; phthalates (which mimic hormones); and petroleum-based ingredients like mineral oil or paraffin wax (which clog pores).

Why choose natural personal products instead of products containing sulphates

The short answer is that sulphates are bad for your skin, the environment and your health. Here’s why:

  • They damage your skin barrier. Sulphates cause dryness, flakiness, redness, itching and irritation to sensitive or acne-prone skin types.

  • They also strip the natural oils from your skin – leading to a higher risk of developing eczema or psoriasis down the line.

  • They have harmful side effects on the environment. Sulphate pollution has been linked to algal blooms and can be toxic for marine life when released into lakes and rivers through wastewater treatment facilities.

The bottom line is, if you want to keep your skin healthy, avoid the products that contain sulphates and try natural alternatives instead. Choosing natural personal care products is the better option for your health and the environment.

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