Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


The Dirty Dozen - SLS: BUSTED!

The Truth About Sodium Laureth Sulfate

I am still analyzing the report “The Dirty Dozen – Cosmetics Chemicals to Avoid.” Today I am looking at the claim that sodium laureth sulfate causes cancer.

I have written about this before but is obviously requires repeating. This is one of the most common myths about the safety of cosmetics around. I have heard it for almost two decades and guess what – not one single reported case of brain cancer associated with using shampoos or cleansers containing SLS.

According to the report:

1. SLS is a possible carcinogen

2. SLS can be irritating to the skin

So where is the truth? The rumors about SLS causing cancer are often linked toa study reportedly conducted at the University of Pennsylvania showing a correlation between use of SLS and brain cancer.

Published data regarding SLS:

1. According to Health Canada – “Health Canada contacted the University of Pennsylvania Health System and found that it is not the author of the sodium laureth sulfate warning and does not endorse any link between SLS and cancer. Health Canada considers SLS safe for use in cosmetics.”

2. According to the American Cancer Society – “Contrary to popular rumors on the Internet, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) do not cause cancer. . . . A search of recognized medical journals yielded no published articles relating this substance to cancer in humans.”

Almost every product (from shampoo to dish soap to toothpaste) that has a foaming action contains SLS. It is probably one of the most naturally occurring ingredients in the world being derived from coconut oil.