Are sulfates really bad?

Many of us may have heard this sentence before - sulfates cause cancer and are bad for your body! Sounds familiar? Well, today we will take a deeper dive into this topic and answer the question - are sulfates really bad?


Firstly, let’s break down what sulfates actually are. Sulfates are aggressive detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts and are used as cleansing agents. The most common sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These compounds are often found in products such as body wash, shampoo, face cleanser, and toothpaste. 


Now that we know what sulfates actually are, let’s move on to tackle the next question. Are sulfates really bad? Well, you’ll be glad to know that there is no direct evidence linking sulfates to cancer, infertility, or development issues. They’re all myths! (Phew!) 


However, sulfates are known to have a high risk of causing irritation to your eyes, skin, mouth, and lungs. They may also clog pores and cause acne for people with sensitive skin. This is because sulfates are very aggressive cleaning agents - they are very effective at cleaning, but they also strip all the protective oils from your scalp, hair, and skin. As they are aggressive cleaning agents, sulfates tend to wash away the natural anti-microbial peptides, proteins, and water-proofing oils our biomes create. Our hair and scalp are therefore stripped of vital moisture, exposed to harmful microbes, allergens and environmental pollution and are then vulnerable to damage, infection, and illness. 


On top of that, sulfates also cause follicle stress. Each hair follicle is covered by something called a lipid cap. When this protective cap is removed, it exposes the good microbiota that live within. Since they are anaerobic, these good bacteria die, and bad bacteria will now have direct access to the follicles. 


Therefore, although sulfates are not carcinogens, nor do they cause infertility or development issues, they can cause irritation to our body. Because of this, we here at The Verdant Lab made a conscious decision to not use any form of sulfates in the production of all our products. This is in line with our vision of a clean brand!. When you purchase any products with us, you can be assured that our products are of the highest quality, whilst being safe and environmentally friendly. 


Please feel free to let us know what topic you would like to see us cover next in future blogs! 


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