Toothpaste, Soap, Shower gels and Shampoos all cleanse with foam or bubbles.
A common cheap foaming agent used in almost 90% of the major brands on the supermarket/shop shelf is Sodium Laureth Sulphate so Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS/SLES). SLS is what is knows an a Surfactant, a Surface Active Agent. In simple terms, surfactants create a better interaction between two compounds (usually two liquids) by reducing the surface tension between the two. This allows the two compounds to create a rich creamy lather or foam.
SLS is effective but harsh on our skin as it strips off the natural protective layers of oil. Have you noticed that most shampoo's leave your hair feeliing so stripped on nutrients that you need to use a conditioner so that your hair feels somewhat manageable after you get out. SLS is also easily absorbed into the bloodstream and is a known skin irritant causing red and flaky skin. How many of us have seen skin that is red itchy irritated? Do you experience this problem?
Did you know SLS is also used to clean engines, wash cars and scrub floors. It is a detergent - a bi-product of petroleum oil and also a mild irritant – the reason you don’t really want to get shampoo in your eyes much. Why would you want to use it to clean your skin? There is much research and information leaning heavily towards SLS & SLES and causing a number of serious health concerns in both adults and children. Whilst the majority of the information about the effects of SLS/SLES is unsubstantiated the common understanding leans towards it being something you do NOT want to mess around with.
Natural vegetable and plant oil based soaps and shampoos cleanse gently and safely without stripping the skin of its natural barrier as they leave behind a fine film of natural oils to nourish and protect. Coconut and castor oils create fantastic bubbles - other vegetable oils such as olive, grapeseed or rice bran have less foam or bubbles but clean just as well.
So next time check the ingredients and forget the shower gels shampoos and soaps that contain SLS - Go natural - nature's way is best for your skin.