Sulfates (or sulphates), are common in many cosmetic & household cleaning formulations. Commonly known as surfactants, they are a synthetic cleansing agent often added to products to encourage a rich lather when added to water, effectively breaking down oil and dirt.
It is the ingredient of choice for many companies because it is incredibly cheap and effective. You will find it on the ingredients list on a multitude of budget shampoos, shower gels, bubble baths and soaps, as well as in washing up liquid and floor cleaner. You will often find them labelled as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SELS (sodium laureth sulfate). The primary ingredient used to make sulfates is petrolatum. Enough said we think!
Consumers are now beginning to wise up to the adverse effects of using these ingredients on skin & hair. While we agree that claims of sulfates causing cancer are ludicrous, we've made the conscious decision not to use them in ANY of our products. Other companies are also adopting the sulfate free ethos by removing both sodium laureth & sodium lauryl sulfates from their formulations altogether and replacing them with natural alternatives derived from coconut oil.
It has recently become clear that sulfates can irritate sensitive skin and scalps. Although they are effective in 'cleaning', when used over time they actually strip the skin of the natural and much needed oils which form a protective defense against harsh environmental factors. A study conducted by Bath University's Pharmacology and Pharmacy Department found that the use of sodium laureth sulfate increased water loss from skin over a three week period. Thus leaving the skin significantly damaged and more susceptible to irritation. In light of this, and countless other studies, it's no wonder that those with sensitive or eczema prone skin will find sulfates worsening their condition further. For such instances it is often recommended to use sulfate-free shampoos, body washes and even hand washes!
Not that we want to blow our own trumpet, but we have never used sulfates in any of our products and nor do we plan to! Our products are made with completely natural ingredients by hand in England. By making products based on demand and in small batches, we are able to give our customers fresh natural ingredients which contain all the benefits nature has to offer.
So, what can you expect from switching to sulfate-free formulas?
You will find that many of our shampoos, soaps and body washes do not lather as much as conventional products and the reason is simply because they don't contain synthetic ingredients like sulfates! They key is to remember that you don't need more product because of the lack of lather. It's about being mindful that although there aren't vast amounts of bubbles, your skin and hair is STILL being cleansed effectively but, most importantly, gently! Most of our products contain organic bases consisting of vegetable and essential oils, so you're not only cleansing but also giving your hair and skin an extra moisture boost.
So, yes, SULFATE-FREE is the new hype in the industry, but for good reason. Why would you want to strip your hair or skin of its natural oils when there is an affordable alternative that works?