There is something about a lather that usually makes people feel they have cleansed properly, whether it is for the hair or the body. But do you know the chemical effects of using an ingredient that foams?
Surfactants, aka wetting agents lower the water's surface tension allowing the product being used to spread and penetrate more easily. The most commonly used surfactant for personal care products are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can be absorbed into the skin where it degenerates, or ages the cell membranes as it effects the proteins. The skin layers may become inflamed and separate. These symptoms, when the ingredient is used in a shampoo, can give the effect of an itchy, flaky scalp. The consumer, convinced they have dandruff, chooses an anti-dandruff shampoo, which invariably contains the offending SLS.
Studies have found this chemical can have high levels of skin penetration even at low use concentration. In animal trials, the chemical had an LD 50 (Lethal Dose for 50% of the animals tested) of 0.8 to 110 g/kg in rats. A formulation containing 15% caused depression, laboured breathing, diarrhoea and death in 4 out of 20 animals.
SLS has been fed to animals to study the effects, and it has been found their skin suffers slight to moderate irritation in applications of a solution of 0.5% to 10%; skin corrosion and severe irritation in applications of 10% to 30%. In eye tests, 10% SLS caused corneal damage to rabbits' eyes if the chemical was not flushed out or the flushing was delayed.
SLS is toxic to marine life, but it is flushed into the sea in many countries around the world, from the wide spread use of foaming personal care products containing these ingredients.
Many products carry the 'not tested on animals' bunny logo, but this only means the manufacture or their agents have not tested on animals in the past 5 years. Outside that time frame, and as revealed, animal testing is indeed a large part of company procedure so they are able to have their products approved for the market.
SLS can become carcinogenic during manufacture or when combined with other nitrogen bearing ingredients in a product. As this is a contamination, not an intended ingredient, there will be no warning on the label.
Research has indicated SLS may damage the skin's immune system, allowing bacteria to breed.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate has been deemed to be a milder option, but the manufacturing process involves a process called ethoxylation. The resulting chemical can be contaminated with the potent carcinogen 1,4-dioxane.
Avoid all products containing these foaming agents and choose green chemistry options.
After 30 years in the 'beauty' industry, Karen Armitage was astounded to find that the cosmetic companies she had trusted included toxic ingredients in the products they produced and marketed. You will never believe a skin care promotion again once you have read her free reports at http://www.nochemicalcosmetics.com
Karen believes in and markets a range of Skin Care and Personal Care products Certified Organic to food standards. These amazing products can be ordered on line and delivered world wide. More information can be found n her web site.