The purpose: SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is used in numerous products such as hand wash, body wash, cleansers and shampoo. It provides the foam or bubbly consistency that we often associate with being clean.
The problem: SLS is a known skin irritant which strips natural oils and can cause dry skin and irritation. It can irritate the eyes. Reactions can include itchiness, dermatitis and eczema. SLS can also be absorbed into the skin. It can also lead to oily skin due the fact the skin has much of its natural oils taken away.
The purpose: Parabens are used to prolong the life of products in health and beauty, for months or even years. The preservative was first brought in around the 1950s, to prevent bacteria and mould. It’s important to look out for other variations of ‘paraben’ when looking through ingredients.
The problem: Parabens can be absorbed into the skin, and a 2004 British study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women. There was no direct link to cancer (from this study) but it proves it can remain in the tissue. Studies have also shown parabens in the bodies of marine mammals in the wild, believed to be originating from our sewage system. Although only a small amount is used in our products, there are now many alternatives to this preservative which is can cause irritations and stress, particularly to sensitive skin.