- Beauty Glossary
- SLES Free
SLES Free Shampoo & Cosmetics
You've probably seen the SLES free label proudly worn on some cosmetic products, while others don't mention it whatsoever. But is the inclusion of SLES in hair and skin care products a good thing? The short answer is no. SLES has been proven to be highly irritable when it comes into contact with some skin types, meaning you should really try and purchase SLES free products wherever you can.
Find out more on our SLS free and sulphate free beauty glossary pages.
See our sles free guide to answer your questions like what is SLES and what are the skin care benefits of SLES free beauty products.
Sunscreen & Self Tan
Frequently Asked Questions about SLES Free products
What is SLES?
SLES, more formerly known as sodium laureth sulphate, is a substance that is usually comes hand in hand with SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate). SLES is the alcohol form of SLS: a substance that was originally created to clean up garage floors. Usually, cosmetic companies put this into products to create a rich lather that most of us usually associate with being clean. SLES is slightly less irritable than SLS but it is known to potentially cause more of a drying sensation when in contact with skin.
What are the skin care benefits of SLES free beauty products?
Finding an SLES free product can give your hair and skin a much-needed break from dryness and irritation brought about by sodium laureth sulphate. There might be less of a lather, but also less distress caused to the skin.
Who should use SLES free beauty products?
Everyone, essentially. However, it is especially important for children and sufferers of dry and sensitive skin to hunt down SLES free products.
What kinds of products contain SLES?
As a well-known foaming agent, SLES is most commonly found in hair and body products like shampoos, shower gels, body washes, soaps, toothpastes and cleansers. Next time you're shopping for the above products, try and find one that sports a SLES free label.
What are the main risks of SLES?
SLES can dry out skin and hair, while also seriously irritating the eyes and certain skin types.
What has dioxane got to do with SLES?
There is a particular worry surrounding the use of SLES, as in some cases it can become contaminated with dioxane. Dioxane is a suspected carcinogen that can last a very long time within our bodies, making it an underlying concern.
Written by Ellie Child, Beauty Editor