I came across a revelation that just dumbfounded me and my eyes were wide for a whole of ten minutes straight when I read it.
A specific common ingredient used in so many products (Shampoos, Face Washes, Scrubs, etc.) called 'Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is/can be so dangerous and harmful. I'm going to show you what the article says, read on:
Both Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and its close relative Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.
Unfortunately, both sodium laureth sulfate and its cousin are also very dangerous, highly irritating chemicals. Far from giving "healthy shining hair" and "beautiful skin", soaps and shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate can lead to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.
A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations of SLS as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation. Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. This is highly characteristic of sodium laureth sulfate and almost definitely directly related to its use.
So why is a dangerous chemical like sodium laureth sulfate used in our soaps and shampoos?
The answer is simple - it is cheap. The sodium laureth sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, SLES also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.
This denaturing of skin proteins may even be implicated in skin and other cancers.
Perhaps most worryingly, sodium laureth sulfate is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.
I really don't know what to do now. Not all products have it but majority does. I've got 2 scrubs, shampoos and many face washes containing this, lol. And who knows how long we have been using these products? Well, duh, since childhood. But upon knowing this, I just can't seem to ignore it. And I thought you should know, too. So at least you know what you're putting on your face and hair even if you decide to ignore this and use them.