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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Also-called-like-this: SLS
What-it-does: surfactant/cleansing
Comedogenicity: 0


The famous or rather infamous SLS (not to be confused with SLES). It is a cleansing agent known for being too good at the job and potentially irritating the skin. But, on the positive side,  it can produce copious, creamy and luxurious foam compared to the more gentle and thus nowadays much more commonly used Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

In fact, SLS is so good at irritating the skin that it is very commonly used in dermatological studies just for that. It is a so-called "primary irritant", a substance that irritates the skin in one go (without prior sensitization) but doesn't do any other big harm (such as being carcinogenic or systematically toxic - those claims are not true). Also, the formula can greatly influence the irritating potential of SLS, and mixing it with other cleaning agents makes it milder

If it's not in a cleanser, it works as an emulsifier or even as a penetration enhancer for active materials. 

Show me some proof

  • Lee, Cheol Heon, and Howard I. Maibach. "The sodium lauryl sulfate model: an overview." Contact Dermatitis 33.1 (1995): 1-7.

Products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Lush Godiva Shampoo Bar Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Method Pure Peace Body Wash Garnier Skin Active Naturals Gel Wash Aloe Garnier Fructis Daily Care 1 In 1 Shampoo And Conditioner Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo Head and Shoulders Green Apple Anti- Dandruff Shampoo MASQUE-OLOGY Vita-Collagen Dual Action Powder Mask + Cleanse Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo Zoella Beauty Splash Botanics Make A Splash Moisturizing Body Wash Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Missha Near Skin Dustless Bubble Pack To Foam V05 Detox With Micellar Water Purifying Shampoo Differin Gentle Cleanser Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash listerine Total Care Goût Plus Léger De Listerine Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths Himalaya Herbals Mint Fresh Herbal Toothpaste Obagi C Fx C-Therapy Night Cream Pantene Pro-V Advanced Carr Shampo Natura Bissé Stabilizing Cleansing Mask Pantene Pro-V Shampoo Rigenera E Protegge Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff 2 In 1 Shampoo Nu Skin Ap-24® Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste Obagi-C Rx System C-Clarifying Serum Marvis Whitening Mint Toothpaste Nu Skin Ap-24® Anti-Plaque Fluoride Toothpaste QEI+ Body Lightening Lotion Intense Gold The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam Carotone Caro Tone Black Spot Corrector SSCPL Herbals Mix Fruit Cleansing Milk Gigi Hair Removal Cream Hada Labo Deep Clean & Pore Refining Face Wash Obagi Clenziderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser Olay Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser Neotrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel Annique Forever Young Crème De Nuit Cortizone 10 Anti-Itch Creme Himalaya Purifying Neem Mask PanOxyl 10% Acne Foaming Wash EXTREME GLOW Strong Lightening Serum ZO® SKIN HEALTH EXFOLIATING CLEANSER Dermaceutic Mela Cream The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Cleansing Foam Natural world Hydration & Shine Shampoo Vivasan Vitasan Vitality Tea Tree Cream Clarins Men Moisture Balm Murad Revitalixir Recovery Serum™