It’s a fact that 60% of the things you apply to your skin is directly absorbed into your blood, therefore, what you put on your child’s skin is just as important as what they eat.
Many bath and body items advertised for little ones include irritating, even hazardous, chemicals.
When you visit your pharmacy, take the time to read the ingredients. Here’s one ingredient in particular that all parents should do their best to avoid applying on their children’s skin.
Sulphates (SLS & SLES)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are chemicals that produce a soap-like detergent, chosen for their foaming properties. They are commonly used in shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers and toothpaste – even in products specially marketed for children. SLS is also used in floor scrubbing liquids, car-wash soaps, engine degreasers, and for other industrial applications.
What Are the Concerns About SLS & SLES?
Why should you and your baby avoid these sulphates? Many reasons.
First, it’s a known skin irritant. In fact, this ingredient is routinely used in clinical studies to deliberately irritate skin, so that healing solutions can be tested. So it’s not something you want on your baby’s dry and sensitive skin!
That’s not all. A report in the Journal of the American College of Toxicology states that SLS “had a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties”.
Simply put, protein denaturing means that the structures of the proteins in the skin are disrupted and possibly destroyed. Not good for anyone. And especially not good for a baby’s delicate skin.
Finally, the same report noted that “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentrations” which just means that SLS can easily penetrate the skin and lodge in the body’s deeper tissues and even the bloodstream.
So What Should You Do?
The best course of action would be to avoid SLS and SLES as much as possible. Learn to look at labels. If these sulphates are present, they’ll be right there on the label. Just choose products that do not have “sodium lauryl sulphate”, or any other sulphates, on the ingredient list.
Fortunately, there are SLS- and SLES-free baby washes available. For you and your baby.