Versatile ingredient composed of several non-volatile alcohols. Functions primarily as a surfactant, but can also be used as a skin-conditioning agent, emulsifier, and solvent. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is one of the most sensitizing cleansing agents used in skincare products. In fact, it’s considered a standard comparison substance for measuring the skin sensitization of other ingredients. Thus, in scientific studies, when they want to establish whether or not an ingredient is problematic for skin, they compare its effect to the effect of SLS.
In amounts of 2% to 5%, sodium lauryl sulfate can cause sensitizing reactions for many people. Despite the sensitivity issue, it is not the same as the dire and erroneous warnings floating around the web about this ingredient.
References for this information:
International Journal of Toxicology, July 2010, pagss S151-S161
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2001, pages 416-419
American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, May 2001, pages 28-32
sodium laureth sulfate