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SLS or SLES?

SLS and SLES are easily confused by name but in reality, are very different. Both are used in many cosmetics such as soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, bubble bath, and so the list goes on... as they are surfactants which is what we as consumers know as the lather. Yep, that's right, the lather we all know and love.

Man in water

However, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) can be quite irritable to the skin when not washed away properly. This can be a very big problem when it comes to a product such as a shampoo, as we all have those mornings where we simply don't have the time to dig around in our wet hair getting every last inch of product out.

When not washed out properly, SLS can cause damage to your acid mantle which can then lead to a dry, cracked and tender scalp. Sometimes, SLS can also "sit" on your hair follicles even after a good rinse which over time, causes your hair to weaken.

Woman blonde hair

SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) is designed to be a milder, kinder alternative to SLS. It's actually derived from SLS then goes through a process called ethoxylation (where ethylene oxide is introduced to change the compound).

This process makes it gentler and kinder on your skin and hair as it doesn't strip the epidermis of any excess moisture and is not aggravating. The result? Beautifully nourished, clean and soft hair that hasn't been stripped of its natural oils. 

Woman in outdoor shower

At Soaked, we only use SLES. However, if you have very sensitive skin we'd recommend staying away from all products with both SLS and SLES in, as well as any products that are scented. 

Any questions? Hit the chat button in the bottom right corner, we'd be more than happy to chat.