Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Everybody knows that cleaning is the most important part of our personal care business before putting any good stuff in the places. And the purpose of cleaning is to take out all the unwanted substances out of our skin, including sweats, oil, dirt, even pollutants, toxins, and other impurities. Do you really think you are doing the cleaning part right? Are you really taking out all the wastes instead of adding some to your skin?
Since a while ago SLS Free haircare products have been on the trend in the beauty industry because SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a type of detergents, it’s where you get rich lather from) has been reported dangerous to our skin.
SLS in washing products rids the natural oils of our skin that causes our skin dried and vulnerable. Our skin is the biggest organ in our body, including our scalp, and it plays the role of a security guard preventing any unwanted things from attacking our body; this bodyguard works well with, or rather, needs to be nourished by naturally produced oil. This oil is to help kill bacteria and fungal, and it provides nourishment to the skin (too much oil will result in oily skin, clogged pores or breakouts; insufficient of it causes dryness and cracking skin). We always want to keep a good balance on this oil on our skin. SLS stripes away this natural oil leaving our skin unprotected and prone to invaders like germs and toxins. We will feel clean afterward, but our body knows better. Soon later, our scalp will feel dry and problematic due to the natural oils being harshly stripped. It will be forced to produce more oil than ever as it overcompensates the loss of natural oil and its protection. Bam, we’ve got an oily scalp! As a result, we’ll need to wash our hair from every two days to every day yet still doesn’t seem enough.
SLS’s harms don’t stop here, as studies show, with continuous use it can cause skin irritations. People with sensitive skin like mine can experience dry and itchy scalp, rashes, even as worse as allergies. SLS can penetrate the skin, making it a good doorway for other allergens, irritants, pollutants, and toxins to get absorbed into the skin and cause unwanted reactions. SLS involves shampoo should be avoided from the eye area because SLS can cause eye irritations. If this cleanser gets into your eyes, wash them with water immediately to avoid irritations; red and swollen eyes, even corneal opacity might occur if not dealt with properly and the SLS solution left in eyes for too long!
Ok, we’ve so far briefly explained how horrifying SLS is. How can we avoid it and what we should be looking at?
Since the risks of SLS has been posted and wildly known, there are many SLS-free products on the markets for your options. If these products are SLS-free, do they still lather? The answer is yes, they still do. Their solution to this is to substitute SLS with his cousins, SLES, ALE or other detergents. Ok the real questions are: are these substances still harmful? They don’t have the focus whether they are dangerous doesn’t mean they aren’t (we will discuss the harmful ingredients in a personal care product that you don’t want to put on your skin in the next articles). Also, other than foaming agents and detergents, there are still so many chemical substances that are unnecessary to our skin, even unwanted. Dye, preservatives, stabilizer, consistency controller, fragrance, etc., for instance, why are they here? How do we avoid them?
We will talk about the water No-Poo in another article; but now, let’s talk about how natural soap (handmade soap) can help you through this change.
Natural soaps ( handmade soap) are simply made of natural oils, water(sometimes milk, juice, tea, etc.), and lye. Sometimes other ingredients such as herbs, clays, or essential oils are added for its nutrients and health benefits.
Handmade soap might not lather as rich foam as a commercial cleanser does, but the foaming and cleaning abilities are undoubtedly good, especially with the help of a foaming soap net. Handmade soap can clean all the excess oils and pull out dirt off your skin, leaving a refreshing, squeaky clean feeling without having our protective natural oil stripped away and any harmful particles left in our skin.
Some people find a waxy feeling on hair or skin after soap washing; you may encounter this if you are using hard water. Hard water is water that contains minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, so on, the minerals in the water will react with soap particles and form a waxy substance. This waxy substance doesn’t harm you and your hair, but some people might find it annoying, it can go away with an acidic solution like apple cider vinegar (ACV) or citrus water. Prepare a jar of an acidic solution and pour over the hair after soap wash as a hair conditioner. The acidic solution will react with the waxy substances and take it away off your hair, leaving your hair waxless fresh! Plus, the acidic solution can balance off the pH value of your hair after washing with soap.
After some time when you get used to the No-Poo Soap method, you will find your hair lighter, shinier, less oily, less hair loss, doesn’t require frequent wash and grow healthier. You will thank yourself for enduring the “horrible” transition and finally made the right decision to go “waste-free”. Try it, you might find a whole new experience with cleaning your face, body, and hair.