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Perioral Dermatitis and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Allergies
You Might Be Allergic to Soap, Shampoo, or Lotion
I believe that I may well have an allergy to sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), which is a common ingredient in many of our basic beauty products. More and more people are ditching their lotions, shampoos and soaps in favor SLS-free products.
Why are companies now advertising they are SLS free? Why are people becoming pickier about these products?
Consumers are increasingly concerned about these harsh synthetic chemicals being applied to their bodies.
As for me, I was not concerned in the least about my soaps and shampoos until I developed perioral dermatitis. This condition appears as a rash around the mouth, eyes, nose, and forehead. Now, I no longer have the choice. If I use any products with SLS, I develop a very bad outbreak. It does seem to matter how high SLS is on the ingredient list. Is it the SLS itself, or another substance combined with the SLS? I don't know, but avoiding products with this ingredient altogether has really cut down my outbreaks.
Confused by all the different sodium lauryl ingredients out there? You are not alone. Initially I avoided products with sodium lauryl-anything in it. I've since found that only products containing sodium lauryl sulfate cause my skin to react.
Here is an explanation of the various ingredients. Although, I was able to find a definition in the dictionary for SLS, I was unable to find good information for the other ingredients. I found information on other sites (listed) but if anybody has a better one, please, let me know:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate is a caustic detergent useful for removing grease. Although commonly included in personal care items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) it can irritate skin and should not be swallowed. (OneLook Dictionary)
- Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate is derived from coconut and palm oils; a safe, skin-friendly surfactant (foaming agent) for both skin and hair. This mild plant derived surfactant creates a rich, luxurious lather that effectively removes surface oil, dirt and bacteria, without stripping or drying sensitive skin. Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is also hydrophilic. This means it is attracted to water, which enables it to dissolve more readily in water, thus providing superior rinseablility. (Alba)
- Sodium lauryl lactolate is derived from palm kernel and sugar; a safe, skin-friendly cleanser for both skin and hair that effectively removes surface oil, dirt and bacteria, without stripping or drying sensitive skin. (Alba)
Some Popular SLS-Free Product Lines
According to the Burt's Bees website:
All Burt's Bees products are:
- Paraben Free
- Sulfate Free (SLS-free)
- Petrochemical Free
- Phthalate Free
According to the website:
Every shampoo and conditioner is made with advanced blends that are enriched with vitamins, certified organic herbs and pure plant proteins. Gentle, pH balanced formulations treat hair and scalp with tender loving care. None of the shampoos or conditioners contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, or other harsh chemicals found in many popular salon brands.
According to the website:
Each line is enriched with conditioning essential oils and botanical extracts to nourish and revitalize for radiantly beautiful, stylish hair. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate and Paraben Free
The products shown below are found at Amazon. If a product interests you, take a moment to read the reviews and check out the ratings. Many of these products can be found in the natural food sections of your local stores. If you have Amazon Prime, sometimes they have the best deals.
One of My Favorite Shampoos
I have experimented with various sulfate-free shampoos and can now say, hands down, Bed Head has the best. I have been using the and Conditioner. My hair is probably the healthiest it has been in many years. Also, I have long hair so many of the sulfate-free shampoos make my hair difficult to brush out. This shampoo is much easier on my hair with leaves far fewer tangles. Sometimes you can find this shampoo in your local CVS or grocery store. You can also find it online at Amazon. Superstar Sulfate-free Shampoo
Share Your Experiences
Do you suffer from perioral dermatitis? Are you avoiding SLS for another reason? Your product recommendations will help others who may be going through the same thing. Please, feel free to share your experiences or concerns in the polls and comments below.