Sodium Laureth Sulfate – vs – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate What is the difference?

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – vs – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sulfates can be found in many products we use daily including hair care, body wash, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, and even toothpaste.

Knowing what to look for and what to look out for can bet confusing and overwhelming.  That is why at PÜR Evergreen® we do the homework for you!

If you are new to the world of sulfates, you may be wondering why this ingredient is harmful in the first place. As mentioned, it is found in many of our everyday products. While it is an effective foaming agent, it can strip your skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

There are two types of sulfates that while very similar in name and their function may seem interchangeable there is a distinct difference between the two – here is why you should opt for products that use SLES over those that use SLS.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – vs – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

We will call these SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) to avoid confusion as we continue.  They sound extremely similar and are used in products for similar purposes, however, these ingredients differ on an important note.

SLS is actually the parent chemical that is modified to make SLES. It is created by reacting lauryl alcohol with petroleum or with coconut or palm oil. To get the SLES from SLS, you use a process called ethoxylation.  This process is key because it turns SLES into a safer, less harsh chemical than its predecessor.

The parent chemical, SLS, is a well-known skin and eye irritant.  That is not exactly the quality you want to see in your lotions, soaps, or cleaning solutions. Normally, a small concentration is unlikely to cause contact dermatitis, (a rash), but you cannot determine the amount of SLS in each product when it is not included on the label. And SLS is used in a wide range of concentrations (1% to 30% in cleaning products).

SLES, does the same cleaning and emulsifying job but is far less likely to aggravate your skin – that is why PÜR Evergreen® will always use the safer  SLES.