Why SLS Is Bad for You So I'm Giving Up Soap and Glory
- This blog post was originally posted on Sat 19th Jul 2014 and updated on 22nd February 2023. Sadly I've just checked the Soap and Glory website and Clean On Me still contains SLS ☹️ -
This was going to be a Soap and Glory review. But I've decided to give up Soap and Glory products already, after only a few months of use.
I am sad to be saying goodbye to Soap and Glory products so soon. I only started trying them a few months back and I had been really impressed. The scents are amazing, the products last forever and the results seem fantastic so far, so why would I be giving them up?
The answer lies in their ingredients, and one ingredient in particular which was in the products I tried at the time of using them: SLS.
Read on to learn why I'm not going to use any beauty products that contain SLS anymore and why you should question the use of this ingredient too.
Soap and Glory contains SLS 😢
So why have I decided to give up on Soap and Glory?
It’s to do with my increasing quest to use more natural based beauty products and stop using those containing potentially harmful chemicals.
I’ve cut out parabens over the past year or so by reading every single ingredients list for the products I use/want. Sometimes I have to research this online as the products are too small to list the ingredients. I recently discovered my favourite Rimmel concealer contained a whole parade of them whilst researching the ingredients online so immediately stopped using it.
Well, Soap and Glory bath products don’t contain parabens as far as I am aware, but the items I started to try do contain something called SLS. This stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and is also very similar to Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
Is soap and glory bad for your skin? I honestly don't know, but read on to discover what I've learned about SLS and why I don't want to put it on my skin.
What is SLS? 😬
I started noticing a lot of natural and handmade beauty products state they do not contain something called "SLS" so I did a little research to see why. Why would all these natural beauty products state they didn't include SLS? What is this SLS they speak of and why do some companies avoid it?
SLS is a surfactant and foam booster that is used to make detergents and personal care products like shampoo and toothpaste foam better and cleaner.
'According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.
(Source - www.livestrong.com)
So why would companies put this harmful ingredient "SLS" in shampoo or shower gel?
Well, it's a detergent that makes them foam. Due to its foaming properties, it has been used for over 100 years. However, the chemical has been shown to be harmful for both human skin cells and animals.
If you’re like me then you may well love a good foamy shower gel or shampoo, but the ingredient that makes it foam up could actually be a total hazard and bad for our health!
SLS is also used in engine degreasing, garage floor cleaner and car wash soaps.
According to my research... SLS is corrosive!
I’m not sure I want to rub this all over myself, not matter how small the amount!
Whilst the chemical does make these products work better, unfortunately it can also cause irritation in some people and be bad for the skin. Or it may even cause permanent damage to the skin. Exposure to SLS can lead to skin irritation, dryness, cracking, chapping, inflammation and a rash in some people.
In addition it may also be a potential carcinogen due to its ability to lead to cell mutations when combined with other carcinogenic compounds.
Be wise to the ingredients in your beauty products!
This was originally intended to be a blog post of me raving about how awesome I thought these Soap and Glory products were, until I became wise to the dangers of SLS and so read the ingredients. I was gutted to see the Soap and Glory products I purchased contained SLS.
I will not repurchase these because of this. I have seen their Glad Hair Day does not contain SLS and this is clearly stated. Hopefully they will be removing it from all of their products ASAP and other mainstream brands will follow! Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
For now I will be buying from smaller handmade companies who use natural ingredients.
Don't forget that all these nasty ingredients are not only bad for us, but they end up in the environment where they must be causing so much damage to the planet, polluting our water and soils and harming wildlife too.
I feel a natural revolution coming on!
Suggestions if you want to switch to natural beauty products
If you're looking to switch to natural and handmade beauty products, there are plenty of options available. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Look for products from smaller companies that use natural ingredients. Many of these companies are committed to using ingredients that are gentle on the skin and free from harmful chemicals. There are lots of natural beauty products on websites like Etsy made with natural, vegan ingredients that are better for health. I'll also be using natural soap instead of shower gels, like the amazing Faith In Nature soaps which are cruelty-free, 100% natural and free from parabens and SLS, yet they still seem to froth up and provide a good amount of foam as needed! They also come in lots of scents. If you want to stick with a shower gel, then try a Greenfrog Bodywash which is made from natural ingredients and supports a small business. Tri-dosha also sell high-quality, natural bath and beauty products. Discover natural bodywash, soap, clay masks, bath oil, scrubs, lip balm, and plenty more at Bloomtown Botanicals too (Get a Bloomtown Botanicals discount code from my review). Iroha make great natural facemasks and Benecos are good for natural make up that is affordable. For natural oils, try Eden's Semilla.
- Try making your own beauty products using natural ingredients. This can be a fun and affordable way to ensure that your products are free from harmful chemicals. Some popular ingredients for homemade beauty products include coconut oil, aloe vera, and essential oils.
- Check out your local health food store or even Holland and Barrett. These stores often carry a wide selection of natural and organic beauty products, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and more. Click here to save money at Holland and Barrett with cashback!
- Use ingredients you already have at home. For example, you can use baking soda as a natural deodorant, or coconut oil as a moisturiser.
- Try out the water only hair method and skip using shampoo and conditioner altogether! Unfortunately the water only hair method didn't work for me, but possibly because I live in a hard water area. Many others swear by this method and it makes their hair naturally beautiful and better than ever, so it's worth a shot! Just do some research into it and follow the instructions properly.
- Natural beauty products can sometimes be a bit more expensive, so check out our tips for how to save money on natural beauty products to get the most out of your purchases!
The benefits of choosing natural ingredients
In addition to being free from harmful chemicals, natural ingredients can have a range of benefits for your skin and hair. Here are a few examples:
- Natural oils, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil, can be nourishing for the skin and hair. They can help to moisturise and protect the skin and hair, and may even help to reduce inflammation and irritation.
- Essential oils can provide a natural fragrance without the need for synthetic fragrances. They also have a range of therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress, improving sleep, and boosting mood.
- Natural ingredients are often more sustainable than synthetic ones, as they are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment. Using natural ingredients can help to reduce your environmental impact and support eco-friendly brands.
By choosing natural and handmade beauty products, you can enjoy the benefits of these natural ingredients while also avoiding harmful chemicals.
Limitations of ingredient labels
While reading ingredient labels is an important step in choosing safe beauty products, it's important to note that some harmful ingredients may not be listed. For example, fragrances are often listed as a single ingredient, but may contain dozens of individual chemicals that are not listed on the label. This is because the fragrance industry is largely unregulated, and companies are not required to disclose the individual chemicals that make up their fragrances.
To choose fragrances that are free from harmful chemicals, look for products that use natural fragrances, such as essential oils. You can also look for products that are labeled "fragrance-free" or "unscented," as these products may still contain fragrance, but the fragrance is less likely to be harmful. Sometimes there will be an * next to fragrance and you'll be able to see below that it is from a natural source and not synthetic.
Importance of supporting eco-friendly brands (as well as natural)
In addition to choosing products that are free from harmful chemicals, it's important to support brands that are committed to sustainability and reducing their environmental impact. By supporting eco-friendly brands, you can help to reduce your own environmental impact and promote positive change in the beauty industry.
Here are a few eco-friendly brands and initiatives that are making a positive impact in the beauty industry:
- FFS Beauty: This UK razor blade subscription helps to reduce waste and they also have a closed-loop recycling system as you can send your used razor blade heads back for recycling, reducing plastic waste and landfill!
- Wild deodorant: This is another eco-friendly subscription offering natural refills for deodorant to reduce waste and use better ingredients.
- Global1st: This organisation has an entire range of eco-friendly homewares, gifts and beauty products. Save 25% on your Global1st order with discount code LR25.
By choosing eco-friendly brands and initiatives, you can make a difference in the beauty industry and support a more sustainable future.
...the use of harmful chemicals in beauty products is a growing concern, and it's important to be mindful of the ingredients in the products we use. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is just one example of a harmful ingredient that can be found in many personal care products, including some Soap and Glory products. While Soap and Glory products may have some great qualities, the use of SLS in some of their products is a concern for many consumers who are looking for safer, more natural alternatives.
By choosing natural and handmade beauty products, looking beyond the labels, and supporting eco-friendly brands and initiatives, we can make a positive impact on our own health and the health of the planet. While the transition to natural beauty products may take some time and effort, the benefits are well worth it. We can all make a difference by taking small steps to make safer and more sustainable choices in our everyday lives.
Click for lots more beauty blog posts or for my healthy living blog!