SLS and parabens - Why we avoid them
Our soaps are safe for both your own health and the environment. They are completely free of synthetic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and parabens, two of the most renowned potentially harmful chemicals often used in soaps.
What are these chemicals, and why avoid them?
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is derived from coconut or palm oil through a chemical process. It’s used as a foaming agent in soaps and other cosmetics. Whether SLS causes harm to humans is an ongoing discussion. Often it is considered safe in smaller quantities, yet some claim that it can cause skin irritation and, in the long run, leave the skin more vulnerable to pollutants. The European Medicines Agency (an EU agency) says that SLS should generally not be used due to the high uncertainty related to the substance.
Parabens are another synthetically derived chemical that is subject to discussions. It is used as a preservative and can be linked to hormonal disturbances. Some studies indicate potential reproductive, immunological and neurological problems, as well as skin irritation, caused by parabens. Increased chances of breast cancer are also reported. However, there is no clear consensus and other scientific papers deem the use of parabens to be safe in small quantities.
Names of parabens: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben .
The reliability of studies done on SLS and parabens is limited as they don’t fully represent a normal person's exposure to such chemicals. In reality, we have been exposed to multiple sources of SLS and parabens every day for a long time. Since it's complicated for studies to take this into consideration, it is difficult, if not impossible, to know the true effect of SLS and parabens.
The environmental consequences of these chemicals is another complex question that doesn't yet have a clear answer. The potential danger comes when waste-water reaches the oceans since it's difficult to remove all the chemicals beforehand during the cleaning processes. Sometimes the waste-water even goes directly into the oceans without going through the cleaning facilities. This exposes marine life to foreign substances and can potentially harm the ocean ecosystem.
You might ask: "Why are these substances used even though we don't fully know the risk?"
These chemicals are cheap to produce and give the cosmetics and hygiene industries large margins. Yet, they leave the users and the environment with potentially high costs to health and ecosystems.
Our soaps are well preserved without parabens, and foam well using natural herbs instead of SLS.