Brains & Beauty Go Hand In Hand…

You wouldn’t use something like arsenic or battery acid on your skin if someone told you it was okay, would you?  Well, you might be doing something akin to that now.  There are a good many controversial ingredients that are regarded as safe by the cosmetic industry, but those ingredients might be anything but.  Take the case of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.  It is considered safe by most manufacturers, so they continue to use it in their products.

In all fairness, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate  (SLS) has not been proven to be carcinogenic, despite abundant claims to the contrary.  That said, however, SLS is well known as a skin and eye irritant.  SLS is a harsh detergent and it is used in products from shampoos to soaps and toothpastes because of its sudsy, foaming action.  So while you might not get cancer from using a product with SLS, your skin and hair might suffer from dryness, chapping, and a loss of the natural oils that keep your body naturally hydrated.  In fact, SLS is so good at its job, you have to use conditioner on your SLS-shampooed hair to give it back some of the softness and manageability the SLS stripped away.

So what other types of products can manufacturers use instead of SLS?  One manufacturer, called Naked Body and Bath, uses vegetable oils in place of SLS to create the foaming action consumers expect.  There are lots of SLS-free products also carried by local supermarkets and department stores, but you’ll have to read the labels.  Bear in mind that there are other ingredients related to SLS that work similarly, so if SLS irritates your skin, those other ingredients could too (they include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, among others).

The bottom line is your skin is the only skin you’ve got, and while it might renew itself every 21 days, if it stays irritated, it won’t ever feel new again.  Protect and nourish your skin and avoid the ingredients that make you feel itchy and rashy. We like to call that #SmartBeauty!