We only hang out with cool people. Sodium lauryl sulfate is not cool.
Last year my husband was getting severely chapped lips. We tried everything. All sorts of ointments and chapsticks. We even started an elimination diet to figure out a possible food allergy. During this process we started reading labels and by chance tested and discovered (6 months later) that he was allergic to SLS, also known as sodium lauryl sulfate.
Who knew? It was the cleansing products the entire time. The toothpaste. The mouthwash. The shaving cream. The bath soap. The shower gel. The dish soap. The deodorant. The shampoo. The clothing detergent. We were surrounded.
What is SLS, you ask? Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant. Simply put, it makes bubbles bubble and allows soaps to lather. Quite frankly, I've been using SLS since I was born. And same with my husband, although he's the one that developed a delayed hypersensitivity later in life.
The SLS Material Safety Data Sheet, published by the University of Maryland, shows that SLS is an irritant to the skin, face, eyes and respiratory tract. Researchers at the University of California examined the effects of SLS on human skin and reported significant irritation. In additition, in 2005 a published article in the Journal of Contact Dermatitis found that SLS induced temporary redness and dryness of the skin at concentrations as low as 0.025%, which I believe was what my husband was experiencing with his chapped lips.
Since then, we have gladly replaced all of our household and personal cleansers with various forms of sodium coco-sulfate, which is a much more mild surfactant derived from coconut oil. We read all our labels and make sure it's a husband-approved product before buying. The surprising thing for me . . . my eyes are less dry, I don't itch my back while asleep anymore and my skin is less dry. I didn't even realize! We have both found relief and I got myself one handsome man with a nice set of kissable lips.
Sodium lauryl sulfate fighter,
PS: all We Love Eyes products are SLS free.