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Ingredients we avoid - Sulphates

Long chemical names, changing regulations and misleading marketing claims can make it difficult to understand the true impact ingredients may have on human health and the environment.

Sulphates—or surfactants as they are also known—are foaming agents, included in many household products such as laundry and dishwashing liquid as well as personal products like shampoo, body wash, hand wash and even toothpaste.  They are very effective in producing a bubbly, foamy consistency that is so often associated with 'clean' and is why they are so widely used. 

Commonly used Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (SLS) or the very similar Sodium Laureth Sulphates (SLES) are produced from coconut oil, palm kernel oil and most commonly petroleum.  They are banned by the European Union but can still be found in many Australian products (1).   

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) classifies SLS as an irritant (2) which can lead to redness, skin rash, swelling, itchiness and hives.  SLS strips the skin of natural oils, leaving it dry and susceptible to damage (3). 

EWG also suspect SLS to be an environmental toxin (2). Synthetic detergents create an environment where waterways are more likely to absorb pollutants and pesticides, making them toxic to aquatic organisms with the potential for bioaccumulation and further distribution along the food chain (4).

There are no SLS, SLES or any sulphates in any WASH WILD products.  Instead we use natural, completely plant-based surfactants (foaming agents) like decyl glucoside and coco glucoside.  They don’t foam quite as well but they are much safer for you and the planet.

More information on SLS and SLES can be found on any of these links
1. https://echa.europa.eu/cosmetics-restricted-substances
2. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/706110
3. https://www.healthline.com/health/sulfate-in-shampoo#when-to-avoid-sulfates
4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1974.tb04545.x

Additional sources:
http://slsfree.net/
https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/sulfates

Source: unsplash.com / John Thomas