Tag Archives: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Choosing the Right Cleanser

women shopping for cleanser.

You are choosing your new facial cleanser. This is a big deal for you.  You’ ve had some very good experiences and some very bad ones. The good ones have been positively life changing and confidence boosting.  The bad ones have made you want to stay home and cry.

You decide to look at reviews.  Oh, the cleanser looks good.  It got 4.5 stars and 3070 customer reviews.  You look at the breakdown. 73% gave it five stars, that’s pretty good, but 5% gave it one star and 4% gave it two stars.  What if you’re in the 5%? Unfortunately, you really won’t know until you buy it and use it, but here are a few helpful guidelines.

The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type
Bar soaps are generally considered bad for skin because they contain harsh detergents that strip everything from your skin, even things you don’t want to be stripped.  However, if bar soaps are the way you want to roll, gentle bar soaps like Dove Beauty Bar is fine for your skin, although it is not really a soap.  Since they do tend to be drying,  bar soaps would be a better choice for people with oily skin.

Foaming
Foaming cleansers also have a drying effect and are better for people with oily skin.  Since you only need a small amount to work up a good lather, foaming cleansers last the longest.  You may want to avoid a foaming cleanser if you have dry or irritated skin, as they may be too drying for you. However, foaming cleansers are available in gel or cream  and the cream forms may contain oils and emollients that may be less harsh.

Non-Foaming
Nonfoaming cleansers are usually recommended for people with sensitive skin or eczema.  These cleansers are available in lotion and gel forms and are known to be a little gentler; some say too gentle.  Nonfoaming cleansers have often been blamed for being unable to remove sunscreen and makeup.  However, many people swear by gels like Cetaphil, which is known for its suitability to sensitive skin.  It is also good for dry skin and in the morning.

Ingredients
When you do buy a new cleanser, you should definitely check the ingredient list.  Sodium lauryl sulfate can be quite drying, whereas sodium Laureth sulfate is milder and gentler, although it may irritate some people.  However, keep in mind that if the ingredients are listed toward the bottom of the list, the amount may be negligible.

Keep in mind that some people use two different cleansers. They may use lighter cleansers during the winter when skin is dry, and stronger cleansers in the humid summer months.  Some use Lighter cleansers in the morning and stronger cleansers in the evening, when they need to bring in the heavy duty.

In parting, Yancy Lael, author of Glowing:  Soulful Skincare says, “don’t rely on labels to give you the information you need.  Trust only the ingredient list in your gut.”  This may be the soundest advice of all.

Skin Care Ingredient No-Nos: What to Avoid

You know that what you put onto your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. When grocery shopping and deciding on food you probably stop to read labels and find out what is really in the food you are eating (and if you don’t do this…start now!). You may not know, though, that you should be doing the same thing with all of your skin care products. Think all beauty and skin care products are created equal? Think again! If you see any of the following ingredients on a beauty label, put the product down and look for something else that will help, rather than harm, your skin.

Chemical formula of Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde
If you are familiar with formaldehyde you may be shocked to learn that it can be an ingredient in your beauty products. Yes, this is the formaldehyde used in preserving dead bodies. Formaldehyde can be found in nail polish and nail polish treatments, shampoo and conditioner, body washes and cleansers and eyeshadow. Formaldehyde is a recognized human carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. In other words, if you see formaldehyde in an ingredient list, drop the product immediately.

Parabens
Parabens, along with sodium lauryl sufates, have gotten tons of attention in the past few years where beauty products are concerned. Parabens are used in the vast majority of makeup products, cleansers, shampoos, body washes and deodorants. They sound like a great thing – they are used as preservatives to avoid bacteria growth in products. However, they are a highly suspected source of increased breast cancer risk.

Chemical formula of Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol
This does not sound like something you want on your face or body and it certainly isn’t. While this ingredient may not be quite as hazardous to your health as formaldehyde, propylene glycol is definitely something to avoid. Often found in moisturizers, conditioners and shampoos, propylene glycol is a known skin irritant and is far from soothing, which is the intended use.

Fragrance
This skin care and beauty product ingredient is a tricky one to identify and pin down because it is hard to define a fragrance. The term was originally used to protect the secret formulations of beauty companies, but this works against consumers who want to be informed of what they put on their skin. Some fragrances are irritants to the skin and are unfortunately found in many skin and beauty products from shampoos to foundations.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Sign

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 
This is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of buzz in the beauty community. This surfectant is located in somewhere near 90% of all foaming products, such as cleaners, shampoos, body washes and soaps. Sodium lauryl (and laureth) sulfates are known to be irritants to the skin, lungs and eyes. Additionally, there is concern that sodium lauryl sulfates can combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.

Toxic beauty ingredients can be seemingly hard to avoid because they are so prevalent. However, beauty companies are now catering to consumers desires for safety and effective products. Be sure to read the labels on all products you use and look for natural options when you can to decrease the risk of irritation and illness.