Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used in a ton of cosmetic products – some 90 percent of shampoos, almost all toothpastes, and most body washes. It’s a great foaming agent, and a super-duper detergent cleanser. That’s why it’s also used as an engine degreaser, in car washes, and to clean commercial garage floors.
It’s used as a skin irritant in laboratories in order to assess the healing properties of other products. It cleans by corrosion, stripping away lipids in the skin so it can’t moisturize itself. It’s absorbed into the body through the skin, even at relatively small dosages, and a study at the University of Georgia Medical College indicated that it remains in the tissues of the heart, brain and liver long-term. SLS is also pretty hard on the eyes, corrodes hair follicles which impairs the growth of hair (and it’s in shampoos – hello!). It’s a mutagen that actually changes the DNA of skin cells – that’s one reason it makes skin feel so soft.
Unfortunately, SLS is found in nearly all bubble baths. Now, who takes the most bubble baths? Kids, right? Children.
Kiss My Face makes a lot of SLS-fee products, including shampoo and toothpaste, which can be difficult to find. Plus, they have SLS-free bubble bath for kids. Their products are available in natural food stores and in the natural food-and-beauty departments of many major chain groceries.
It’s also pretty easy to make your own safe bubble bath, if you roll that way. One method is to grate a 3 or 4 ounce bar of cold-process soap and melt it in a quart of hot water. Once it’s melted, add 3 Tablespoons of liquid glycerin (yes, the stuff that’s stripped out of commercial soap) and, if you wish, a few drops of essential oil (make sure you – or your child – isn’t sensitive to whatever you choose). You can find liquid glycerin in many pharmacies, especially compounding pharmacies. Or you can buy it from soap making supply sites like From Nature with Love.
Or go old school and don’t use glycerin at all. Instead add a few drops of essential oil and an egg white to 1/2 cup of liquid, SLS-free soap like Dr. Bronner’s or Kiss My Face liquid soaps, or Burt’s Bees body wash (always check the labels to be sure).
The egg white and glycerin both make the bubbles that form under the tap stronger and longer lasting.
[Climbing back down now] ; )